Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day. Here’s something I posted a few months ago – It’s OK to be Happy.
Even if you don’t have a mental health problem yourself, you are very likely to be affected by the mental ill health of someone close to you – 1 in 4 people suffer some form of mental health issue in the UK each year. If you are one of the 3 in 4 but live with one of the 1 in 4 –
This post is for you.
I spent 19 years living with someone who was living with mental ill health. At the beginning we thought being together was the cure. By the end he saw me as the root cause of it. I now know (because I’ve had counselling myself, to get my head around it) that neither of those was correct. It’s like thinking that just being with someone will cure their broken leg – or being blamed for the break when they were already in plaster when you met them. I now know that the illness and our relationship were two separate entities. I had no power over it, either to make it better or to make it worse.
And I’ve learnt that I’m entitled to take care of my own mental well-being. That I am entitled to feel the emotions that I genuinely feel. That you can feel sorry for someone without having to feel sad inside of yourself. I’ve learnt that how I feel is also valid. I’ve learnt that it’s OK to be happy.
This is what I wrote back in May –
It’s OK to look after yourself.
It’s OK to do the things you want to do – alone if you have to.
It’s OK to fix your own oxygen mask first.
It’s OK to
sayshout ‘This is my life too!!’
It’s OK to be pissed off that they’re not OK.
It’s OK to carry on trying to help them even though you don’t know if it’s really helping.
It’s OK to make them go to the doctors even though they don’t think it will help (and you’re not even sure yourself).
It’s OK to set boundaries.
It’s OK to refuse to be dragged down.
It’s OK to be you.
It’s OK to ask for help.
It’s OK to have fun.
It’s OK to tell someone how you feel. If you don’t have someone in your life that you feel you can tell (or even if you do), http://www.mypartnerisdepressed.com is a good place to go.
It’s OK to ask for more help.
It’s OK to be happy.
If you are close to someone with mental health issues – please don’t try to cope on your own. You are important too, and so are your emotions. Don’t allow your happiness to be drained away from you.
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