Mental Illness Is Something I’ll Deal With The Rest Of My Life
Even though we get better, we might not ever get “better”. And that’s okay.
I spilled my coffee on my laptop at work today.
My super productive plan for how I was going to get so much done this morning has suddenly shot to hell.
I instantly flipped the computer over, dark liquid pouring off the keys onto my desk as I held the power button to turn it off. I felt my cheeks flush, and tears started to well in my eyes as I rushed to the kitchen to get paper towel and a damp cloth.
In the end, I managed to not ruin the laptop, and my keyboard is only the slightest bit sticky as I type this.
But it isn’t really the spilled coffee that’s had me emotionally tilted all day.
One of the first things someone said to me this morning before the coffee spill was: “Are you okay? You look depressed.”
I guess that’s just par for the course in January. It always feels like the hardest month.
No matter what mindset I come in to the New Year with, no matter how many plans for success I make, or how optimistic I am, by the end of January, everything feels like it goes down hill.
But Kieran, aren’t you better? You got help, it’s been almost three years since you tried to kill yourself, and five since your dad died…
I’ve made a lot of optimistic posts in the past, talking about how I’ve seen a psychiatrist, developed systems of coping, have taken medication, married an amazing and loving wife, and had the support of my friends and family.
But here’s the thing about mental illness:
It’s something I’ll deal with for the rest of my life.
And even with all those amazing things to back me up, things still get tough.
The difference is that now, I believe I can get through it.
There are thousands of people who are in the position I was in three years ago. People who might not be as lucky as me, or don’t have anyone to listen to them, to help them work through the darkness that envelops them.
A person shouldn’t have to get lucky to have the support that I’ve had.
A person shouldn’t have to feel lucky to be honest in their workplace about when they feel depressed.
A person shouldn’t feel like they have to keep their tears and pain and suicidal thoughts held in because they don’t have anyone to listen, or let them feel safe enough to share.
Every day, there are still people viewing the post Hi, I’m Sorry To Burden You, But I’m Thinking About Killing Myself. A lot of them find my post because they Google “thinking about killing myself”.
They type that in to Google and leave comments because they have no one to talk to.
It breaks my heart.
They’re looking for someone to listen, and then for someone to tell them it gets better, and they want proof that it DOES get better.
They want to heal.
The bad news is that there’s still a stigma around talking about talking about mental illness all around the world.
The bad news is that even though I’m often better, I’m not “better”.
The bad news is that I can’t tell them that it will be easy.
But I can tell them they’re not alone.
And I can offer them places where it’s safe for them to talk.
And you can too.
Because this is something that we have to deal with for the rest of our lives. And even though we get better, we might not ever get “better”.
But that shouldn’t stop us from talking, listening, or trying.
I wrote this post for Bell Let’s Talk Day, but we need to have honest conversations about Mental Health every single day. If you liked this post, and want to share this message, please hit the heart and recommend it.
If you’re struggling, or in crisis, please call your local hospital or 911 immediately. There is no shame in asking for help, you don’t have to face this alone.