For years I didn’t talk about what I was going through, or had been through. When I did, it came out like verbal diarrhea, often without me being able to control the words coming out of my mouth.
I keep thinking about Mr. Chadwick Boseman, and the fact that he chose to keep his battle with cancer private. There is a quiet strength that must be respected, considering how much he gave the world, during what had to be the most difficult time in his life.
There are a lot of people right now thinking “well if he had cancer and didn’t say anything, I can do anything.” And while to a certain extent that’s true, I hate the idea that people think they can’t speak out about what happened to them.
This post isn’t really about him, because I don’t know his story or struggle, I just know that in my case I couldn’t keep silent anymore. Being silent about what happened to me as a child and as a young woman, was literally pushing me into psychosis.
Now that I am speaking out about mental health, I am starting to forget what it was like before I started talking about it all.
Mental Health is one of the most important kinds of health, because it branches out and affects everything about who you are as a human being.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for those of you who are still suffering in silence, not talking about the triggers that are driving you to a place of feeling like you might be crazy.
I remember thinking that all the time, I used to ask people “am I crazy?” all the time, because I was never quite sure that things happened the way that I thought I perceived them originally.
It got to the point that my friends would start to roll their eyes at me, not understanding that I genuinely felt like I had gone crazy and were seeing things that didn’t happen, except that they did happen.
Not knowing your own mind is one of the scariest things that can happen to you when you’re dealing with mental health issues. Not being fully aware, or fully capable of perceiving individual events the way others do, can leave you feeling isolated and alone even when you are surrounded by people.
I didn’t start out wanting to help people when I started speaking out about my mental health, I wanted to get the bullshit inside my head, out of my head. I wanted to free up space for things that really mattered to me.
Now that I am speaking out, and I guess in a kind of way, helping other people, I understand that it’s not always about me, and as odd as that might sound, that is incredibly freeing.
When you have a goal to focus on, when you have something you can look at, and work towards, every single day, you find that it’s much easier to deal with your mental health issues. Or at least, I did.
My goal these days is to build this brand, so that one day when I can stand on my own two feet, I can be of better service to other people. That being said I know how important it is to take care of my mental health, to ensure that I end up being the kind of person who can help other people.
That means learning more about coping strategies, it means saying “I can try that” fifty times more than I say “I can’t do that.”
It means not listening to the voice that tries to tell me that I am worthless, or that I am trash, or that I don’t deserve to be happy, which…is not always easy.
It is incredibly easy to fall into that place where you feel sorry for yourself, because you are listening to the negative toxic voice which always feels louder than the more positive loving self voice.
It’s not easy, it takes a lot of practice, and it’s something that I will probably have to work at every day, for the rest of my life, but at least now I know that.
I feel like five years ago I honestly had no idea what my triggers were, and I had no idea how to deal with them when they came up. Now I am learning what my triggers are, and I am learning that I can say “no” and “no thank you“.
I am learning and reminding myself every single day that “no” is a full sentence.
Part of the struggle to be honest with you, is not having anyone to talk to about these feelings that come up during my meditations. Not having anyone to reinforce the positive and healthy side of my mental health really makes me feel like the negative is winning.
Now that I am ready and willing to talk about it, having no one to listen to me, is really difficult, and makes me feel like I am alone. I don’t often talk about the moments when I am not feeling strong or powerful.
Sure I admit that they happen, those moments, I allude to the fact that I am not feeling so hot, but I don’t get to the deep rooted issues that stem from “not feeling good”.
When I say I have had a bad day, often people roll their eyes and shake their head, thinking my life is easy because I do not have a regular nine to five job. It doesn’t occur to normies, that after everything that I’ve been through, I am focused on healing, and that this is a nine to five job.
It feels so lame to say that, but it’s true. I am using every inch of this time to better my mind and to deal with the toxicity of more than twenty years of abuse. I am trying my best, even when it doesn’t look like it.
That being said, I know it’s time to take the next step. You can’t focus on your mental health forever, without having some kind of balance.
If the loss of Mr. Boseman taught me anything, it’s that it’s also incredibly important to focus on and work on your physical health too. Not doing that, is to my mind, a trauma response.
All I really want to do is sit here and write, but I know that if I don’t take care of my physical health, my mental health will continue to suffer. It’s a double edged sword, and it’s a pain in the ass.
I don’t want to focus on my physical health, because it’s much harder than focusing on the mental. This I know for a fact. But it’s important. So I am going to try.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall