There is A LOT going on in the world at the moment. It feels like 2020 alone had more disasters than the last 20 years put together. With the fires in Australia and California, Kobe Bryant’s death, Harvey Weinstein, the murder of George Floyd, and Chadwick Boseman’s death…that’s a lot just there.
Then what about COVID-19? Over 85 million cases worldwide, nearly 2 million people dead. People are being furloughed, businesses are closing for good, weddings and holidays cancelled, schools closing, friends and family unable to meet.
Baring all that in mind, I’m discussing today – Is it okay not to be okay?
Suffering from a mental health issue at any time is not easy, but when there are so many terrible things going on in the world, it may feel like your problems pale in comparison.
However, I want to make it clear – your problems and your mental health are ALWAYS important. It does not matter what is going on in the world. You deserve to get help.
I want to share one of my favourite quotes from the first lockdown with you:
“We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some of us are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.’– Damian Barr
I mean, how true is that? Yes, we are all facing COVID-19 right now but you have no idea what other people are going through in their own boat.
There could be a single mum, working from home, homeschooling 4 kids but she might be bossing lockdown. Equally, there might be a single person on furlough, struggling through every day of lockdown as they don’t have anything to occupy them. The point is, we just don’t know.
Please do bear with me as I go off on a little tangent here…
One of the major things that would annoy me from lockdown 1.0 would be all the memes that would pop up on my timelines. They would trivialise households without children. Saying things like;
“Is it relaxing?”
“Are there naps?”
“Can you do what you want all day?”
“Imagine being able to sit down and read a book”
“It must be great to have so much free time to do what you want.”
Why are we assuming that households without children are having an easier time than houses with children? We have no idea about their jobs, they might have a high pressured job, that requires them to work long hours, maybe even longer now due to limited resources at home. They might have to care for a vulnerable member of their family from their bubble, they might be separate from their partner for weeks due to their living arrangements and lockdown ruling.
However, even if these households without children are working shorter hours, are able to nap, read, cook and chill out whenever they want, who’s to say that their lockdown is easy? They may be desperate for children but unable to conceive. They might have just had their next round of IVF abandoned again. Or they might be suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, OCD.
And please do not think that I am discrediting households with children. I cannot imagine what it is like having to work and care for children and make sure that they are getting something that resembles an education.
However, just because someone only has one child, it may not necessarily be easier for them than households that have 2 or 3 children. The child may have special needs or health issues or other disabilities that we are unaware of.
And Back To My Original Point
Is it really okay, not to be okay? I’ll be honest, it sucks having a mental health issue and I hate it. I have spoken all about my anxieties before so I won’t delve into those again.
I wish that I could wash away everyone’s mental health issues, anxiety, depression, OCD, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, eating disorders, paranoia, schizophrenia. It really saddens me that there are millions and millions of people who struggle on a daily basis. But, yes, it is okay not to be okay.
What is not okay however, is to belittle, ridicule or make someone feel bad for suffering from any of these illnesses. What is NOT okay, is people committing suicide because they are not getting the help that they deserved to get. Because they felt like they were unable to speak out because “someone has it worse” or “how bad can it really be?”
Yes, it is okay not to be okay. You are allowed to feel how you feel. It is okay to ask for help if you need it. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, if you need someone to talk to, you are entitled to that support.
If you are struggling at the moment, I beg of you, please do not suffer in silence. Talk to a friend, family member, drop me a message if you want.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, I have included some information below.
- Samaritans – Call 116 123 for support 24/7
- Shout – Text ‘Shout’ to 85258 for support 24/7
- Calm – Call 0800 58 58 58 or use webchat for support from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year
- Mind – Call 0300 123 3393 for support from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday.
- If you need urgent help you are also able to call 111
Before you go, make sure that you check out my other posts on mental health that may be helpful to you:
- 14 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health
- Putting Together Your Panic Attack Toolkit
- What To Expect From Therapy – My Experience
- How To Support Someone With Depression Or Anxiety
- The Changing Of The Seasons