Since yesterday was World mental health day and today is International coming out day I thought it was the perfect time to talk a little about my experiences with Mental health and sexuality. These are two very big subjects which actually tie together for a lot of people me being one of them.
I came out when I was in high school and that is totally a story for another day but I have come out so many times in my life because you never only have to do it once, new job you come out, meeting new friends you come out, seeing old friends you come out honestly it does get easier every time and I get less and less anxious every time I come out to someone new because more and more people see it as a ‘normal’ thing now.
Since being at high school I have struggled with my mental health and at the same time, I was struggling with my sexuality so it all kind of came at once. I came out when I was in high school and a year or so later I started to struggle with mental illness. Now I’m not saying that they are linked to one and other but for some people it is. I personally don’t have a specific point where I can say my mental health problems started. I did lose some friends after coming out and I think that that may have contributed, anyway…
I have always been a very anxious person, but when that anxiety started to affect my daily life I started to think “this can’t be normal” I ignored it which is probably the worst thing I could have done. I struggled through high school with anxiety and depression which I never really admitted to anyone. It wasn’t really until my second year of college I really spoke to someone and eventually got help for it, I saw my doctor and was prescribed antidepressants which yes some people may not want to admit but I’m not ashamed of the fact I have to take medication. Going to the doctor has to be the best thing I’ve ever done because honestly if I didn’t go and speak to someone I don’t think I would be working right now. I wouldn’t be able to handle my work and my job because I wouldn’t have the confidence my anxiety would have taken over and I would have backed out.
Depression is the single worst feeling I have ever felt in my life. I would never wish it on my worst enemy the feeling of being so alone and numb is just horrible. I do still have bad days and good days but so do most people. I do have weekends where I will just lie in bed and not do anything because I don’t have the energy. I have to say mental illness for me is totally draining I am one of those people who will put on a front even when I am having a bad day and when I get home it has taken so much energy to be all happy and cheery that I will just sleep for hours.
I am still getting there day by day but honestly, if you take anything from this blog post I would say if you are struggling talk about it and if you have the time ask someone if they are okay. Mental health should not be something we are afraid to talk about because it affects a lot of people.
If you are struggling with mental health or LGBT issues here are some useful numbers:
Samaritans – 116 123
Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87