You’re fine- Great as a matter of fact! You’re good. It’s all good. Everything is JUST fine.
You know your husband is fine. Your kids are great – Your friends seem happy.
But more importantly – You’re fine, remember?
Go ahead and just keep telling yourself that. It’s easy to keep just being “fine.” You are the master of perfecting the “cover up”. It’s what a lot of people do. We show only the good and put on a smile.
You’ve perfected masking the panicked, irritable, anxious feelings, the exhausting mood swings, the suffocating and physically debilitating depression, the manic highs and lows, and all those extreme “in betweens” that you can barely explain to yourself much less someone else.
You’re fine, remember? You have to be. So keep telling yourself that!
It’s all just normal stress anyway, right? I mean, don’t act like you are the only person in the world that is stressed and putting on a “fine” face. You’re a mom – They’re just kids! Hell yes, they’re going to be needy and suck the life out of you. That’s just what they do, so why are you surprised how mentally exhausting this is?
So you keep just being fine. Never striving for anything better than “fine” when the word “fine” isn’t how you are feeling at all. It’s been several years of “fine,” of treading depression filled waters and scaling mountains of anxiety, and you’re still fine. The kids are fine. Your husband is fine. Everyone you are taking care of is just fine.
You’re fine, remember?
Except when you’re not. And you’re not, a lot. But it’s just the baby blues. You’re fine! You haven’t been sleeping well is all. You’re mentally exhausted, but who isn’t? It’s nothing a pedicure and glass of wine can’t fix. You’re human.
Reminder: You’re fine!
You missed a dinner you had scheduled with a best friend the other night- you said your kid was throwing up, and you had to stay home. Lie. Lies help a lot lately. They come in very handy when you simply cannot. What were you gonna say? The intrusive depression has guided your every thought today, and you can’t make it stop long enough for a good happy hour? That’s not a valid excuse. It’s not like you can actually say that.
You’re fine, remember?
You called in sick to work last week. Said you had a stomach bug— another lie. Can you tell a superior at your job, the same place where you need to remain highly professional, unstoppable, efficient, and smart, that you’ve been depressed and can’t seem to shake it? Absolutely Hell to the NO! They’ll think you can no longer do your job. You need a job to support your family. You need health benefits – even though they are the same benefits that will support your mental health and guide you to therapy or relief. And where would you find the time for therapy sessions? WHO has time for all of this? I am fine! And would it help anyway? Probably not.
Goodness Girl – you’re fine, remember?
A few days ago, you were so so so close to slipping and actually telling someone. Going in for your annual doctors appointment– You sat there on the table, the tissue paper crinkling underneath as your heart raced and palms sweat because you just knew what you wanted to say and you repeatedly told yourself, “Just tell the doctor this time- Tell her you don’t feel right. There’s something wrong in your head. You don’t know what, but it’s snow balling, escalating and drowning you– and you know it’s not supposed to feel like this. Maybe she can fix it. Can she fix it? No. There’s nothing that needs fixing.”
You’re fine, remember?
You tell yourself today is not the right time to deal with it; you’ll feel better soon. It’s okay to put it off until the time is right. Then out of nowhere, BOOM – your doctor asks “Are you experiencing any depression? sadness? anxiety?” Why is she asking me this? Do I have a sign on my head that shouts it from the rooftops? Nooo. She’s just doing her job–Doctors these days. You know, they have to ask this now to ensure they check the boxes. You smile widely, shake your head back and forth, and say, “No. I’m fine- I exercise, eat healthy & everyone is great” Wow, you handled that brilliantly.
And then you get in your car and drive home — crying, angry, sweating. You need help. You know you do. You had your chance to finally get it, and you didn’t take it. What is wrong with you? Why didn’t you take it? It was being handed to you (Something I know too well.)
You’re fine, remember?
If you see yourself in ANY of these sentences, I want you to know something–
First, know that you’re not alone
Second, know that you are allowed to feel whatever the hell you want to feel. You’re a human and nobody is perfect. Let yourself feel!
Third, the hardest step in seeking mental health care is going to be acknowledging the 1st and 2nd thing.
Taking care of our mental health needs to be a priority just like exercising and eating healthy. Since we are all human – I think it’s safe to say we all have some sort of mental struggle. Therefore – it’s insanely silly to have a stigma.
My brother explained it best – “It’s being human and releasing your air valve and letting yourself sit with your sadness and be sad, or be depressed or be anxious- it all can suck but it is human. Bottom line it is ok to have these problems – people shouldn’t feel like a special case because most everyone in one way or another or now or down the road will have a mental issue. It’s funny to think there is even a stigma. Some pastors are on medication for depression & others go to marital counseling. It’s okay! And- For example parents say that boys shouldn’t cry and to suck it up but that did more damage then good, boys need to cry and know that you can feel anything you want. Why is weakness such a problem, it shows vulnerability and openness to express negative emotions. Basically, if you have any type of family of origin, you have some form of mental bounds. From my experience.”
If you need support & are struggling with this and haven’t taken the step towards it YET- thats OKAY! Today is the day.
I also want you to stop suffering in silence. Yet is TODAY!
It’s not tomorrow, or next week, or next month when you tell yourself you’ll get help.
Yet is a CALL TO ACTION!
If you simply can’t find the strength to take the first step today- please do this for me.
Show your spouse, your best friend, or a family member this post and just say, “This is me.”
Tell them to make the appointment for you, to drive you there, to talk with your health care provider with you, and to make sure you don’t leave without the beginnings of a treatment plan or a referral to other support. Find a safe place in someone to walk with you in this journey because no matter what we go through in life, we shouldn’t deal with it alone. We cannot do it alone.
You can do this. I know you can. Because I know from experience, that your “fine” can be so much more.
Go get your joy back. You deserve joy. It’s okay to not be okay. You are WORTHY.
Last week, I lost one of my best friends, one of my first friends I met when I moved to Florida, my maid of honors husband, a father to two beautiful children, a supportive brother, son and an incredible friend. A huge believer in Christ and strong Godly man. A friend whose laugh was contagious, whose humor made you cry laughing, and whose drive & work ethic in life was something I will envy forever. He lost his battle to depression and anxiety. As a person who has struggled with both of those things in my life and also have family members battling mental illness, this is my CALL TO ACTION. Nobody knew he was struggling to the point of ending his life. He suffered in silence and there were little to no signs that this was coming. This is coming from my heart, from my experience and love for my dear friend and his beautiful family.
We cannot lose anymore people to this- We need to end the stigma & talk openly about this.
We need to all be a safe place for our friends and family if they need us – Remind them that you are a safe place.
Eyes UP. You are worth it!