Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of anxiety.
A big part of struggling with my mental health stemmed from feeling as though my problems weren’t valid enough to talk about, that others had it worse off than me. And somewhat, yes, this may have been true, there are probably thousands of people who are in worse situations than I was, however, that doesn’t mean the pain you are in isn’t still there. Just because others are in worse pain, it doesn’t mean our pain just disappears.
Each individual is different, we all tolerate emotions and situations differently, some can shake off anxiety in the blink of an eye, whereas others may become debilitated with it. Based on the assumption we make about ourselves ‘not having it as bad as others’ is actually quite false. We cannot truly measure our level of emotional pain to someone else’s. Whether it's emotional pain stemming from lowered self-worth, pain stemming from grief, or even depression and anxiety, we all experience it differently.
Mental health has for so long been such a competitive subject. We compare our condition to others with the same condition, but forget to take into account that the extent of suffering varies between each individual and the way we manage our symptoms isn’t a one-size fits all situation.
When we begin to accept that we have an issue, whether or not we want to, we need to speak up. Speaking up and raising awareness for the issue you are facing creates this opportunity where your issue could become somewhat normalised because others around you might be dealing with the same issue, which means you’re more likely to feel a little less different from everyone else.
I know personally in my head I always thought I must have been a complete whack job for some of the things my brain told me, but in reality, many people actually had the same thinking patterns and believed they were the only ones experiencing it too. But why’s this? Because we have conditioned ourselves to believe that we should hide our problems and deal with them ourselves!
When I began talking more openly about my struggles, I found so much comfort in realising that I wasn’t alone in this, and I wasn’t going crazy, that so many people around me shared the same thoughts as me or had in the past. You never know what the person next to you has experienced. So let’s start talking more openly because we are all in this together!!!
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!