I Am Not Okay, But That’s Okay….

July 10, 2017 2 By Bethanie

Mental Illness is a minefield, you never quite know where to step as any move could potentially see it all blow up in your face, so we stay stood in the middle of the field calculating, searching, praying for a way to make it through it, desperately wishing that it would just disappear. You close your eyes and count back from ten, you open your eyes and oh wait, nope nothing has changed, you’re still right in the centre of the minefield.

I sit here at my laptop at 2am on a Monday morning, after a particularly draining week and I wonder whether things will ever be ‘okay’, whatever ‘okay’ is or whether this constant feeling of emotional numbness will ever subside, the answer is, probably not. I don’t know what to feel or how to feel and when I do feel, its always too much, an overpowering rush of emotion hitting me like a tidal wave that all too often disappears just as quickly as it arrived. In these moments I talk too fast, fumbling my words because my mouth can’t quite keep up with the accelerated pace that my brain is moving at and then back to nothing, just the dull hum of numbness as though someone has placed an anaesthetic within my feelings.

“You’re so strong” the words that I often hear when some harrowing or life altering event has occurred that leaves others reeling yet I manage to appear relatively un-phased but please, I beg of you, don’t mistake my non-feeling for strength, because I promise you that I would trade anything in the world to feel something, anything for just a tiny flicker, something to take the edge off of the sea of numbness that I find myself floating upon. I am not strong, just numb. Obviously there are some that mistake my non-feeling for non-caring, a blatant lack of compassion on my part. “Do you care about anything or anyone but yourself?”, of course I do, there is no question about that, I care; sometimes maybe too much. I just can’t translate the fact that I care into feelings in the way that one would be expected to the majority of the time.

I, just like many before me and alongside me, long to feel ‘normal’. That word, all of its connotations, what is ‘normal’. I’ve come to find that normal is now a particularly subjective concept, varying from person to person, because funnily enough no single person is a carbon copy of another. Even those that look identical are certainly not identical on the inside. Yet we still pine after this ideology of being ‘normal’ feeling like everyone else or at least how we assume that everyone else is feeling.

Well, my darling readers, I have some breaking news for you and that is that ‘normal’ as we picture it, doesn’t exist. Normality is entirely subjective, you will never feel exactly the same as another person because you are your own human, you feel things and view things in a way that no other person does, therefore you have your own normality.

I’ll be completely honest with you in saying that I spent so long deciding whether or not to press the publish button on this post, in fact, it has taken me weeks to finally build up the nerve to share, however that being said, I decided that actually it’s important that we have these discussions. Mental health is most definitely not a taboo topic, we need to raise awareness not only about the fact that mental health exists and is serious but also that mental illnesses deserve parity with physical illnesses/ailments. Just because you cannot see an illness doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the power to be just as debilitating as a physical illness, so please I urge each and every one of you reading this to have a conversation, talk about mental health. Ask someone how they feel, text that friend that you know has been having a rough time, have a discussion about your own mental health with someone. It all starts with you, the more conversations we start, the more awareness we raise.

As always thank you so much for reading.

Until next time!

Beth xx