Over two years ago, my family went through the horrendous experience of having to admit my mum to a mental health hospital. Mental health problems are all too common, yet people are afraid to talk about them. However, I’m not.
I wouldn’t wish what we went through on to my worst enemy, however I think it’s made me a stronger and better person, so for that, I am at least grateful. It’s certainly changed my outlook on life, and I’ll not apologise for raising the issue over and over again. There is far too much stigma surrounding it, or perhaps, the optimistic side of me thinks – maybe people just don’t know how to react when someone admits that they are struggling.
It’s okay to not be okay. I made the decision to start seeing a psychologist for my own peace of mind, and to make sense of all that has happened over the last few years. We’re on a continual rollercoaster of a journey whilst mum tries to get her meds right. I’m under no illusion that this will probably continue for the rest of our lives, but I all I can do is enjoy the good times, and roll with the bad ones.
I only saw the psychologist for a few months, but that’s not to say that if I need to see one in future that I won’t, as it’s so important to not let things build up or bury them under the rug. Part of this is the reason my mum ended up having a nervous breakdown, so I’m determined that the hiding of things stops with me.
Luckily I have a fabulous support network of family and friends. Running has become a massive outlet for me, both physically and mentally. I’ve made some great new friends, who are willing to listen when times get tough, and for whom I’m proud to be there for when times get tough for them. I’m a great believer that people come into your life for a specific reason, and it’s okay when others drop off unexpectedly – I hold no grudges over that.
Lana (Itchen Spitfires)