Not all of you have a mental illness, but you all have mental health

Everyone has mental health. It’s just like saying everyone has toes. Everyone has ten toes (unless you have some sort of weird toe abnormality) and everyone has mental health. Today is a day to recognize that. It’s world mental health day and I think that regardless of if you suffer from mental illness or know someone who does, we should all take a step back and evaluate our mental health. Taking time to care about ourselves is crucial.

I speak from experience when I say it takes an abundance of effort to get out of bed in the morning on certain days, to remember to eat so I have enough energy or to do anything at all when I am mentally drained and feeling down. It happens to all of us and we feel it in many different forms. Maybe you become sad and feel low, maybe you get anxious and worry, some people get paranoid, others may become agitated and mean. We all have bad days, that’s not saying everyone has a mental illness, but everyone has mental health and keeping yourself happy and healthy is so important if you want to be the best version of yourself. For those with mental illness, the struggle never ends and I’m real tired of being told “oh you’re just feeling sad”. Just because you can’t see someone hurting like you can see a cast on someone’s broken arm doesn’t mean it’s not there. I am so glad that it’s being talked about openly and the stigma around it is being reduced.

I’ve had to tell myself that this thing I’m going through is a chemical imbalance and not me, countless times, but it’s what has kept me alive -that and support from an understanding family and great friends. Not telling someone is one of the worst things you can do when battling an internal struggle. Reach out to someone -anyone because talking through it is one of the best ways to understand it better. And you don’t have to think you’re severely depressed in order to talk to someone. Having a bad day or week is a very good reason to chat with your mom or best friend just about what’s bothering you and even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what that is, take some time just to talk anyways. Communication and connection are powerful, and we humans need to support each other now more than ever.

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