And as luck would have it, my mental health took a disastrous hit this month so I am late in writing about it.
Better late than never, I suppose. Besides, it is still the last of May as I type, so there!
Mental Health Month is observed in the States and to a certain extent, in Canada*. You know, close proximity and all that.
In addition, the Canadian Mental Health Association sponsors a Mental Health Week that also runs in May. According to their website, this year’s was the 65th! Which to me sounds very impressive. They have been raising mental health awareness since 1951? Hats of to them, then. This year’s tagline was Get Loud.
I actually managed to whip up an illustration for that (I got into graphic design recently and I am learning as I go, teaching myself the ins and outs of it) just as the week was ending.
And then I collapsed.
Not literally but my mind did.
I have been mostly in bed, not going out unless it is absolutely necessary, not showering, not brushing my teeth, barely eating. Not only I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I never went out to get groceries either. So even if I had had the desire to eat, I still wouldn’t have had anything to eat, anyway.
It is a great if your goal is to lose weight, let me tell you… [lawl]
That was a joke, by the way.
But, I seem to be doing better now. Last week I felt like doing some illustrations again. That was BIG.
I know things are bad when 1. I don’t feel like creating anything and 2. I don’t feel like singing. When those two happen, I know I am in trouble.
Then I did yoga on Wednesday and I continued to create digital art and learn.
Am I out of the murky waters of a depressive episode? Only time will tell.
I don’t feel mentally strong. I’m still very shaky and the present circumstances of my life are an extra weight tied to my ankles, threatening to pull be back down into the dark waters.
But that is precisely why I need to write about it.
Because as the CMHA says, “Staying mentally healthy is like staying physically fit – it requires a little effort every day”. And for me, part of the effort to stay mentally fit, is to get loud about it, for several reasons.
In the first place, it makes me accountable to myself. It means acknowledging there’s a situation that needs to be addressed and that I need to take action. Like, now!
I also means that it may reach other people that may even be fighting in silence, not sure what’s wrong with them, not knowing how to reach out to get help or even feeling it is not okay to talk about their struggles. It is important that they know they are not alone in their struggles. That it does not mean they are weak. That mental illness is as valid an illness as the flu or diabetes or breaking a bone.
And lastly, because it may help those who don’t have a mental illness understand what it means to live with one.
So, I #GetLoud
*Not sure if other countries do the same. If you know of any other, please do let me know in the comments. Strength in numbers, as they say.
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