What I Wish I Was Brave Enough to Say at My Lowest Moments
Many people write about what they wish people knew or what they wish people would say to them. I have chosen to write what I wish I was brave enough to say to people. And I hope someone else will realize there is no shame in doing that.
I have struggled with my mental health for the majority of my adolescence. Feeling depressed, anxious and paranoid felt like my natural state. It took moving away to university and being independent from my friends and family to realize there was something seriously wrong.
It took everything falling apart two years later for me to accept it.
I wish I was brave enough to see there is no shame in needing to urgently seek medical help. Telling someone is better than not saying anything about how you are feeling. I have both attempted suicide and lost people to it. Seeking help sometimes carries a lot of stigma and shame, but it shouldn’t. Doctors are there to help. Be honest. Be brave.
I wish I was brave enough to realize that just because it’s happening inside your head doesn’t make it any less real. What’s in your head can feel like scary and painful. But unless you are honest about it to someone, be it a friend, doctor, parent, it’s going to stay scary. I once spent three months paranoid of being on my own and scared that everyone else was going to vanish after the death of a friend. It put a huge amount of strain on people who didn’t understand what was going on and I couldn’t explain how I felt. It took losing everything for me to see I needed help. Saying “I’m fine” constantly can make you believe it is. My boss once sat me down and told me and I needed help. My reply was, “I’m fine I just need a few days off.” Realistically I needed a few months off and serious medical help. But it took ending up in a psychiatric ward alone to realize I needed help. Listen to those around you. They care. Not every ending is happy and that’s OK. Admitting it doesn’t feel OK is a big step for anyone. Accept the things you can’t change. Change the things you can.
Appreciate those around you. Ask them for help. And if you can’t say it, write it down. If you are prescribed medication, take it as prescribed. Be honest with your doctors if you feel it’s not working or has adverse effects. Everyone is different. Just because one medication doesn’t work for you, don’t give up and try not to read reviews of medication online. Have honest conversations with your doctors. And web forums are not doctors.
If you are alone, there are many resources that can answer the phone and talk you through how you are feeling and get help to you if you need it. No one will judge you.
Don’t feel ashamed of how you are feeling. It’s scary, but the other options are even scarier. Don’t let a bad time define — or end — your life.
If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.