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Let's talk about mental health...

🌎🧠As it’s world mental health day I wanted to do another post but this time a more personal one on my journey with my mental well-being.

Thankfully we have made good progress on losing the stigmas attached to talking about mental health but we still have more we can do to raise awareness and let others know what support is out there.

Mental health is as important as physical health yet it’s not always given the priority it needs. If you broke your leg or had a migraine then I bet you’d not give it a second thought on telling work about it or telling friends you had to cancel plans, yet when we have mental ill health we are more likely not to say the reasons why. It’s time for this to change. We have to look to the reasons why as a society we think of mental health in this way, the stigmas we attach to it and why.

Mental ill health should never be seen as something we can’t talk about.

It’s so important we do share our stories as you’ll probably find many others who have been in similar situations and can understand. We use talking as therapy. That’s why I wanted to share my experiences so if anyone reading this can relate then you maybe more likely reach out to talk and feel like you’re not alone in these feelings.

I know when I was going through bad phases with anxiety about 7 years ago I didn’t even know myself it was anxiety causing the symptoms. I thought no one else would get it and look at me differently. I was a mother to young twins and running a successful business and didn’t want people to think I was failing. I wanted to portray the picture of ‘perfection.’

I felt I could do it all myself. I was that kind of person who felt like I could take on the world alone and deal with everything that came with it. Add in a measure of past traumas and people pleasing behaviour to this and inability to say no in fear of letting others down! (Letting myself down in the process!) I had coping strategies that weren’t sustainable and would lead me to overwhelm and burnout. It took me about 6 months of feeling crap and not understanding why to start to talk. I thought I could manage my feelings on my own but the support I received after I started talking openly was huge. The first step was talking to friends then making the call to my GP. I sat in the surgery thinking the doctor wouldn’t take me seriously but they put me in touch with a CBT organisation and that did help with my mindset but I still was jumping at noises, waking in the morning nauseous and shaking, having regular panic attacks and zoning out. I went back to the GP and was prescribed medication for my anxiety. I felt labelled at first. I had to come to terms with the fact I couldn’t do it alone but then realised that was a positive, that maybe if I’d realised I could delegate responsibility and accept support, I may not find myself in this situation again. The labels didn’t matter anymore, what mattered is I was feeling better and everyone benefited.

Nowadays I manage my emotions well sometimes and others I forget to prioritise myself - we’re only human. Life does get in the way. However I know how to get back on track and want to help others find their ways too. One of the main reasons I trained as a life coach was because I had been there and worn the t-shirt and wanted to shout loud and proud about how important it is to have these conversations about mental health.

It can feel like a big leap to talk about your emotions because maybe you’ve lived with them for years, you felt it was for you to deal with privately or that people would judge you for it. Surround yourself with people who accept you for you, that will listen and not judge, who can support you and allow you to have the good, the bad and the ugly times!

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to talk about your mental health. It’s okay to need support. If you would like to talk to a professional my inbox is always open.

Vicki x



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