When brought up, these two words instil a fear. You can see it in the persons eyes, their body language. Have you listened to the talking in a room stop? Have you felt everyone’s eyes on you? Have you wanted to scream at them? Tell them to turn around? Same.
I guess it makes sense. The stigma around mental illness is so large these days. We spend these special days like ‘#BellLetsTalk’ or ‘#NEDAW’ or ‘#NSPW’ trying to battle the stigma but that’s not going to change much. My mental health doesn’t just show up on days when it chooses to be heard. It’s heard all the time. Most of the time, it’s the centre of attention, the prima ballerina while we dance through the Nutcracker over and over again. It’s exhausting. My mental health is exhausting.
Often people tell me they understand. And they do. Sort of. They understand the parts that I choose to share with the universe but really, it’s not that much. My mind is lock and key. I am not sure what is acceptable to share these days. My constant fear is triggering someone else so I don’t share. The fears eat me alive almost as much as bottling it all up does. And most of the time this ends with me bursting at the seems, full of too much.
Too much hurt. Too much anger. Too much.
I’ve been fighting my mental health for almost seven years now and it hasn’t gotten much easier. I’ve overcome the impulsivity of just turning to self-harm the moment something difficult happens however I still don’t get out of bed before noon because my mind is exhausted. I don’t eat three meals a day and I’m lucky if I manage to get in one. Food is a constant topic on my mind. My jeans seem to fit one day and not the next. I am happy one day and not the next. I can get out of bed one day and not the next.
Some say that medication is the way to go. For others, it’s exercise and meditation. For me, it’s freedom. Not being stuck. A simple idea right? Wrong. I am constantly stuck. Stuck living at home with a curfew. Stuck going to school for a degree I no longer want or can enjoy. Stuck in a place I don’t want to live. I want to travel the world and tour with bands and open my own music venue and find peace within myself but right now? All I’ve got is my mental illness. A tasking thought that I try to push away with everyday that I move forward.
Resources in Toronto seem to be difficult to find. Especially once you turn 19 and you are an “adult”. The world gets turn upside down all over again and you are left to fend for yourself. Practitioners won’t force you to go into anywhere. They will leave you until you are sure want help and with mental illness? When do you really ever want help? THE WHOLE TIME BUT YOUR MIND HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN AND IT FIGHTS YOU ON EVERYTHING. Trust me when I say that I know.
I recently came across a post in the Bunz Mental Health Zone on Facebook and thought I would share this here. It’s a list with an interactive map of mental health resources in Toronto. It’s accurate and helpful. Check it out, here.