The thought of telling your loved ones about your mental health journey can be extremely daunting, trust me, I’ve been there. But I do believe that it is an extremely important step to take. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to tell everybody in your life about what you’re going through, for example your Great-Aunt’s friend’s daughter’s cat doesn’t need to know about your anxiety!!! There are still members of my family and friends who don’t know about my mental health problems, and that’s okay, they don’t need to know. But sharing your story can be more helpful than you might think.
First off, I want to talk about judgement. There is still such a huge stigma surrounding mental health, which means people are worried to open up for a whole variety of reasons such as fear of not being believed, not being taken seriously and of course, fear of being judged. This is probably one of the biggest fears anyone has before telling anybody about their mental health issues and understandably so. And the first thing I want to say in response to this fear is, the people you tell your story to care about you SO MUCH. Your family and friends LOVE YOU and they want to SUPPORT YOU because they want you to be HAPPY. Don’t be afraid to open up to people around you, as anybody who does judge you was simply not meant to be a part of your journey.
The first person I turned to when I first began feeling anxious and depressed when I was just 16 was my mum. Me and my mum are extremely close – we always have been and are to this day – so she could tell something was not quite right and that I wasn’t being my ‘normal’ self. I eventually opened up to my mum, telling her exactly how I was feeling (through floods of tears and lots of cuddles) and she was truly amazing. She dealt with the it SO well and made me feel so much better about my situation. She supported me in my decision to leave college, helped me move on to a new path, came with me on several doctor appointments and even drove me to my first therapy session. I am forever grateful to my mum for helping me through such a difficult time in my life and continuing to be there throughout my rough patches, she is an absolute angel!
I appreciate that not every one of you will be as lucky as I am to have a mum who is so understanding and loving, but having someone close to you, whether that’s a best friend, brother, sister, grandparent or partner, can make those dark times a hell of a lot easier. And even if you don’t feel like you have anybody in your life to open up to, we are lucky enough to have access to an amazing, incredibly supportive online community full of people who are ready to welcome you with open arms. People who genuinely want to help you through your journey. Talking to strangers about my mental health journey sometimes actually feels easier than talking to those closest to me, which is why I am so open and honest on my blog/social media. I know my loved ones would be supportive no matter what I was going through, but talking to people who don’t have a predisposed idea of who you are as a person, people who don’t know your history and are in no way bias can be extremely refreshing and helpful. If you feel like you could benefit from joining the online mental health/positivity/self-love community PLEASE follow me on Instagram @toomuchtooyoungblog & I can introduce you to some incredible people.
I hope you enjoyed this post & i would LOVE to hear your experiences of opening up about your mental health – good or bad. I believe we can all learn something from each other’s journey. Lots of love ❤