One of the biggest hurdles I faced on my road to mental wellness, was the fact that in order to get better, I needed to be honest with myself and admit that the road I was on wasn’t working and that I needed help. In order to be able to do this though, I had to be ready, because becoming mentally well is hard work and not something that just happens overnight.
This probably sounds strange. Why on earth would someone want to be depressed or anxious or otherwise? The reality is, in our unwell state at that point in time, it seems genuinely easier to be unwell. Staying unwell means we don’t have to put in any effort. Staying unwell means we don’t have to worry about the fear of the unknown. Obviously we don’t specifically think these thoughts, but often we feel so hopeless at the time that even the thought of asking for help is just too scary and can send us downhill further.
We all become ready at different times. For some of us, at the first signs of trouble we realize that something is up and can do something about it. For others, we need to fall for a little while before we have the strength to reach out and make a start on recovery, we may not even realize that there’s an issue at first. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom and some of us may never be ready, which while unfortunate, is just the way it is.
For a person going through mental illness, some days it takes most of the energy we have just to get out of bed. After that we still have to shower and eat if we are up to it, sometimes getting out of the house to go to work, to do the things that need to be done, just to keep us alive, take everything we have leaving us a shell for the rest of the day. On those days, it’s difficult to even think about getting better.
In my blog posts, I often encourage anyone going through a struggle to reach out for help and I will continue to do this and stand by anyone who does, but I will never force someone to get help. Pushing people before they are ready is as bad as telling them to snap out of it. It can have a negative impact and set them back even further.
Mental illness is hard to deal with for everyone involved. Obviously for the person going through it, but it also impacts on friends and family and not everyone can cope with it and that’s okay too. It can be frustrating to see someone you love suffering when you know exactly what they need to do to get better, but the best thing that can be done for someone who isn’t ready to begin their wellness journey is to be patient with them. They’ll let you know when they are ready.
Smiles and Sunshine