Many people assume that mental health is fleeting. That it’ll be gone as quickly as it arrives, that it passes soon and it’s more of a bad mood or a “down patch” without really ever thinking about or believing in the long term effects and repercussions of living with mental health issues.
My illnesses have effected my life more than I like to admit, and I know I’m not alone in this, even though sometimes it can feel like I’m the only person in the world who’s had it so rough. Mental illness takes away things you never thought you’d lose, seemingly “basic” living things like a job, an education, friendships, opportunities. All of these things that we regularly take for granted and that appear so normal. During the time of lockdown, I think it became even more evident of how mental health can effect us and our day to day lives. The majority of people had to feel what it was like to no longer have a job and have that be entirely out of your control. Something that was enjoyable at first but quickly became suffocating and unbearable to stay home and do nothing but be sat with your thoughts.
I lost my job 2.5 years ago due to my mental health. I knew it was coming, and yet it still hit me hard the day they officially let me go. I also missed out on two opportunities to go to uni and study. I kept pushing it off a year, thinking I’ll be better when I just declined further. It’s ignorant and blind of people to think mental health doesn’t effect lives significantly. It’s not all about the feelings and the thoughts, it’s also about the real life practical implications that have just as much of an impact on our emotional wellbeing. We begin to feel even more worthless, pointless and undeserving of things.
That’s why it’s so important to normalise talking about mental health openly and deeply. These things have everyday life consequences. They’re happening all the time, all around us without people even knowing. Mental illness is real and doesn’t care what your circumstances are, it can and does have the ability to strip you of everything you’ve got because that’s how serious and life altering they are.