Social Stance Saturday: It's Okay to Not Be Okay (by Bri Bondy)
Hi everyone, and welcome to another Social Stance Saturday. My name is Bri, and I'm the publicity assistant here at Green Light Go. I wanted to take this opportunity, on Social Stance Saturday, to talk about something that has been very close and personal to me over the past few weeks, and that is mental health.
Very recently, the effects of severe anxiety have taken my family and me through a complete rollercoaster. They say it takes about two years from someone to fully recover from a tragedy such as loss, heartbreak, etc., and I can stand by that completely. Last winter, we lost my stepdad due to lung disease, and of course, the person it has affected the most is my mom, as he was "the love of her life.". Someone who has dealt with anxiety in the past, my mom has completely spiraled emotionally as her anxiety has hit an all-time high level. Over the past few weeks, she has faced several triggers that are bringing back feelings of pain and grief that we are now realizing she never tackled head-on in the time that her husband passed.
For the first time since it happened, her severe anxiety- as difficult as it has been- was almost a sign that she was ignoring her mental health, and that it is imperative that she focuses now on getting HELP. That means therapy, medication, going to groups for people dealing with the same things, etc. Watching my mom go through this has made me realize more than ever that mental health is just as important as physical health. Just because mental health comes from within, and you can't physically see it, does not mean it is just as debilitating as a physical ailment, In fact, being in poor mental health does affect you physically.
Watching my mom unable to eat, sleep, or even go to work has been truly eye-opening to just how much mental health affects everyday life, and that is why we all need to take steps EVERY DAY to improve, or for some, even just acknowledge our mental health.
It can be hard because there is a stigma on mental health. The stigma needs to END. I truly feel like every single person can benefit from mental health services. From someone who has watched someone go from bad, to ignoring it, to worse, to getting better.... just focus on getting better. It is okay not to be okay, but it is not okay to not try to get better. There are so many articles online about taking the steps to recognize your mental health and how to take steps forward, but I found this one from Mental Health America that is super easy to digest, and it says pretty much what most other articles say.
Also, I know it is not easy to take the steps to finally do something about your mental health... my mom ignored it for over a year. But again, it is just about making that commitment, taking that first step. I provided a few other articles below that can help anyone in the first steps of their mental health journey.
- NBC News- Mental health services: How to get treatment if you can't afford it
- MentalHealth.gov- How to Get Mental Health Help
- American Psychiatric Association- Warning Signs of Mental Illness
And of course, as someone who loves music, I personally have found this stress relief Spotify playlist to be extremely helpful for me during the times when I need to be focused and when my mind needs a break from it all. Because, it is stressful to be a support system sometimes, and if you are in a position where you are helping someone through mental illness, you need some time to focus on yourself, too.