A friend of mine shared a post recently which I read with interest. It was like it had been written by me….
The subject was anxiety and anti-anxiety medication, which I have been taking for the best part of a year now. It focused on the way anxiety affects us although in fairness, it could have been written about many mental health issues.
I’ve had a life time of trying to cope, trying to seem okay when I wasn’t, covering my worries and of course, drinking far too much. Overcoming and living with any mental health problem is hard, but as many people will know, it is worse when you’re also trying to overcome an addiction. For a while I lost myself and then afterwards, I spent a long time rebuilding myself.
Something really clicked for me at about three years sober which coincides with the start of my blog. Sharing my experiences and taking about it has really helped me. Connecting with those who understand and perhaps have experienced something similar helps too. I guess there’s a reason why they say that the opposite of addiction is connection.
Reading the post I did was interesting because much as I feel stronger now than I have done in years, it’s always nice to feel like I’m not the only one, and to have my feelings validated. The post goes on to explain that for some people (like me), sometimes things just don’t sit right. We excessively worry. We notice the small things that others don’t. We wonder what we’ve done wrong even when we haven’t and we apologise far more than we need to. We think everything is our fault. We wonder about the authenticity of the intentions and comments of others. But, we don’t need to be told we’re over-sensitive because actually, we’re not. We might just be more sensitive than others but does that make us wrong? I don’t think so.
I was told the other day not to be so ‘precious’ about something. It’s not a term I like anyway, but I found it hard that day because I actually worked up the courage to voice a concern I had and then felt mocked by the response. I find simple things like that hard, because I don’t want to upset people, ever, so I tend to ignore or avoid, even when I feel hurt. Responding to a comment that was ‘apparently’ a joke about me was difficult, but I did it. To have it laughed off was annoying. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, and I’m not saying I want special treatment, but sometimes a little understanding would help. Just because mental health problems are not visible, does not mean they aren’t there, that we don’t struggle in the same ways as someone with a physical affliction.
I suppose what I’m saying is that I hope in this crazy, upside down world where we all live, that we can all show a little more kindness and consideration for each other. We don’t have to ‘get’ everyone and their struggles, but we can try to be empathetic and compassionate.
Be kind to yourselves.
Thank you for reading.