It happens. You were super busy, feeling confident and capable of it all. And then you hit a wall. Not a literal wall, but something inside holds you back. That’s what happened to me these past few months. Things were falling into place, but then I shifted. Everything felt wrong and scary. I had trouble looking at myself in the mirror because I couldn’t be honest about my state of mind. It was a mixture of my own issues and waves of grief. Existence was a struggle.
It’s easy to feel ashamed and like you need to hide what you’re going through, but that is fucked up. Bottling things up only fuels the fire of negative introspection. Check out the Association for Psychological Science’s article Stigma as a Barrier to Mental Health Care and read about the impact mental health stigma has.
Aside from seeking professional help (which I did), there is little you can do to fix this. While you are waiting it out be kind to yourself, and try being honest with others.If someone asks how you are don’t mumble the typical retort of “fine.” Own that you are going through some shit. Take the support (this is as much for me as the reader).
An organization focusing on mental health education and suicide prevention through self-expression is Hope for the Day. I learned about them at their booth at Riot Fest years ago and I’ve found a lot of support there.
A new resource of self-support I’ve found is meditation. I started using Headspace. It’s an easy app you can download on your phone and within the 10-minute sessions, I feel like I’m getting to know myself in a new way. Sometimes there is a huge mind/body disconnect for me and I’ve found this helps ground me. Fair warning, after the trial there is a charge.
Healing is hard. There is no magical cure. This will likely happen again, either unexpectedly or with a bit of warning on the way down. I’ll end the same way a New York Times article on Julien Baker does, with a quote from her, “I wouldn’t say it gets better. We just get better at dealing with it.”
If you find yourself in a dangerous state of mind please reach out. If not to your doctor, a friend or family member, if not them then call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.