4 mins audio listen on Medium @FLO Mystic
I have suffered from Depression for more than a decade. Possibly longer without awareness. Exactly my point. My first memory of emotional and mental imbalance within myself was during my teen years. I knew I didn’t feel good, but not exactly knowing why. I had just turned 40 this year. That is another topic I’m experiencing hormonal changes that can feel imbalance even overwhelming as a woman. Which can then lead to grief, anxiety, and depression.
Back to “Do You Know MIA (Mental Illness Awareness). Migrating from the Philippines to United States, it was a struggle to say the least. Struggled to establish myself in a foreign country as a teenager and soon to be a mature woman. Hopefully a successful and independent adult. At the time, I didn’t think that was ever going to happen. I was feeling homesick and alone. I didn’t feel seen and fell deeply into darkness to fully hide. I did not feel anyone can understand me. It feels as if everyone wanted to fix me instead. I was suicidal as a teenager, rebellious, angry. I felt I had to protect myself, defend my rights, and truth.
“No one was holding space for me to just be me. I need a safe space to feel confident to be with my emotions, fully self-expressed, and empowered to process my thoughts.”
I’m taking the other perspective as I have been one who’s on the other side of Mental Health. It’s ironic that some of the ones talking about Mental Health Awareness are the ones who haven’t experience extreme emotional and mental illness. Although, it is true that there are different degrees on the spectrum. My take can be perceived as negative, for sure. But the ones who are feeling ill mentally are the ones that do not feel seen, heard, felt, understood. My awareness to what is healthy, doesn’t necessarily support my empathy for the ones who are experiencing illness and needed to be acknowledge.
I certainly could just be picking on the Banner of Mental Health Awareness, for that I apologize. Not for speaking my truth, but potentially adding on to the triggers that can be more palpable during this time and month of awareness.
Grief is a heavy weight to bare. Depression is a dark place. Anxiety is a never ending race.
These trio often visits me as a community. They embrace me so tightly that I cannot escape. Surely my misery has found company here. Separation was a struggle for me which leads to an intimate dance with anxiety and depression.
During covid I’ve come face to face with Grief once again. I do not think it has ever left me, but I have ignored it as if it wasn’t there. I am now on the other side of my Awareness to my experience of Mental Illness. I’m beyond grateful that I didn’t want to kill myself during my rock bottom moments this time around. But I did want to escape plenty of times and wanted to hide. I felt lonely, but withdrawn.
I’ve recently come to peace with my grief and past losses. It was a long and feels a never ending process. But I’m happy to now have become friends with the part of me that I use to ignore. The part of me that was grieving losses and I wanted to fix. The part of me that I wanted to get rid of.
I feel seen, I feel heard, held space for to be myself, and understood. By others now, but first and foremost, by Me. I see me. I feel me. I hear what my heart and soul is crying out and saying. I understand, where I’ve been and am journeying through.
If you are Aware that you’re experiencing Mental Illness today, please reach out for help. Reach out to a close friend, community, family, a support group. A therapist and/or counselor.
I’m beyond grateful for a genuine close friend I feel so proud to have been able to share life with. You know who you are. I love you and Thank you. Someone I truly have an emotional connection with. You saw me, held space for me, comforted me emotionally, you didn’t want to change me, instead affirmed me, validated me, you allowed me to just be myself. I can account some of the confidence I do feel today to you. When I think about emotional intelligence, I certainly think of you.
But some of us do not have even 1 friend we can confess and confide in. I get it. I’ve been there. With that, a therapist and/or counselor is my advice and preference. A professional who truly is empathetic and not just skilled at psychology.
“Therapy is Not a Need, not for me at least“. It is a Must! I have not been seeing my therapist over a year. I wrote this blog about my experiences with her when we are sharing an hour of sacred space in time.
During the last 2 years of covid and my recent Awareness and Experience of Mental Illness, I’ve gathered resources to support myself first of all and now to share this with you.
Support for MIA (Mental Illness Awareness)Call for immediate HELP, 911 or 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
There is help. We first need to acknowledge when we are experiencing ourselves heavier energy than usual, wanting to escape, and to hide can be identifier that we maybe experiencing Mental Illness.
I can relate. I have been there. I see you! You are not alone.