Updated: Dec 20, 2018
It’s hard to talk about my mental health in a way that I feel would truly help someone else who might read what I have to say. However, I’d like to think that sharing my experiences might give others something to identify with?
Recently, in a conversation with someone, she shared with me her own experience with depression and how there were these times where it felt like there was this rational version of herself that she could not reach. She was right there, but the invasive thoughts were just too much. This description was illuminating, I had never heard anyone so perfectly describe my experience. Depression lies to you and it’s a battle to not let it win.
Our conversation got me thinking about how I’ve learned to best navigate those episodes. I am not perfect, and I will always have days that I struggle, but I’ve become more mindful when it comes to my mental health. So, when my rational self feels out of reach, I use the tools I have available to me to chase her down. This could look like a lot of things. It could be setting aside alone time to quietly journal. It could be a vulnerable conversation with a trusted someone. It could be making to-do lists and then completing that list. It could be a nap. It could be binging a whole season of Bojack Horseman. It could just be a good cry in the stairwell at work. The point is, I’m learning how to identify what I need.
This ability has been paramount in my continued effort to lead a healthier life. However, I’m only here now because I got help. So, here is my usual encouragement to seek help, if you are struggling. Feeling validated, to know that what you’re experiencing is normal and has a name is one of the best gifts that therapy has given me.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some resources (it goes without saying that these resources are all LGBTQ+ friendly) :
1. TWLOHA: Find Help – To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit organization that specializes in helping others find help. They are “dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide”. I’ve followed their growth since 2007 and they have never strayed from that vision.
2. The Center / Mental Health Association of Central Florida – These are some local resources for anyone in the Orlando/Central Florida area. The Center offers free walk-in counseling on Tuesdays between 9am – 1pm and Thursdays between 10am-2pm. Check out their site for more info. MHACF has a plethora of resources on their site. I recommend taking some time to look around.
3. Suicide Prevention Lifeline – This is one I’m sure many people are already familiar with. In addition to the lifeline number the site also provides other resources.
4. Blahtherapy – This is a nice little site I found one night on Tumblr and saved for future use. I keep it bookmarked. Blahtherapy is a site where you can anonymously talk to someone about what you’re going through. On the flip side, if you’re feeling up for it, you can listen to someone else. Honestly, helping others can do the soul some good. Disclaimer: These aren’t trained professionals, just people looking to listenf and help is they can. The last time I used it I met this sweet lady from Canada who just wanted to lend an ear.