Mental Illness Isn't Comfortable
Updated: May 8, 2020
Guest post by Raffela Mancuso.
So, apparently it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. For a lot of us, it’s just another ordinary week. My own mental health advocacy started around 2 years ago when I was turned away from a mental health service and I haven’t shut up about it since. I could talk about how we need to “break the stigma” surrounding mental health and encourage everyone to use more face masks, but that’s not really my style. I want to talk about the hard stuff. I want to talk about how I’ve been in intensive psychodynamic therapy every day since January and I’m still not “fixed”. I want to talk about suicidal ideation, and how it is very real and scary. Tiptoeing around suicide doesn’t help anyone. I want to talk about how so many people are unable to access desperately needed mental health services due to their financial circumstances. It’s not comfortable, is it? Most people want to feel soothed and comforted and reminded that everything is just fine. Instead of being comfortable, let’s speak up about our experiences and spark change. Your experiences are so valid, even if they're different from someone else’s. I identify as someone living with mental illness, but not everyone does! You can use whatever language feels most comfortable for you and represents your own personal experience. You are not “less than” for struggling with your mental health. You are not weak, you are not incapable. Living with mental illness, in my opinion, is one of the bravest things we can do. You are so strong for surviving each day, and I don’t think we get enough credit for that. If you do anything this week, please check in with yourself. What emotions are you feeling? What do you need right now? What supports do you currently have? I know mental illness can be isolating as hell, but we’re all in this together.
You can follow Raffela on Instagram to keep up with her mental health advocacy!