I expected myself to have something to write for Mental Health Month. Really did. I even have a sorry half written draft on looseleaf that I was planning to type up and publish. The topic was about how NOT to support your friends dealing with mental health issues.
But then I had a block. Because really, people living with mental health issues, like myself, are not experts on what they’re dealing with. The experts are. I don’t like being asked questions about the best way to support me or what its like because there’s too much to say and I just don’t really know.
I’m still learning about how anxiety manifests in my life because it’s not something I paid any attention to before. There are habits I’ve had since I was a child and had no idea that they’re a direct result of anxiety. I’m just now figuring out how chronic this stuff is in my life. I don’t have enough left in me to inform you on the full depths of its manifestation.
This is also why you’ll notice I talk more about my anxiety via social media than I talk about my depression. (I mean, the meds are just really helping) But really, depression is not as much of an alien to me as anxiety is. The same google I’m using to understand myself is the same google you can use to figure out what this is like. Then you can ask more informed questions about what support specifically looks like for me based on what you understand. But i can’t take you from scratch. That’s overwhelming.
I’d like to talk more about my experiences while I’m living them, but it’s a challenge for many reasons. For example, I feel like some of my friends who read my posts might be offended. Truthfully, as a SavageSagittarius, that’s the least of my worries. But the anxiety that would cripple me in anticipation of, and during that potential conversation is not worth it. <—- that sentence itself is a sample of how my anxiety manifests. I’m anticipating a conflict about a blog post I havent even conceptualized yet. My heart rate increased just writing this paragraph.
My Mental Health Month CTA
It’s weird that we expect the person afflicted to be the resident expert on the affliction. I don’t spend all my free time WebMDing depression. I’d lose it. Mental Health is important for us all to know a thing or two about, whether you’re dealing with an issue or looking to support someone with an issue. If you’ve learned nothing else this mental health month, remember that Patrice told you to do your due diligence.
For some examples of how NOT to deal with your friends who have anxiety, like myself, check out this thread on Twitter.