The Rubik’s Cube is such a complex device. It is something that can take some people a day to figure out, or they can be like me, and take years to solve it(and even then, it may not get solved). Some of our minds are like a Rubik’s cube. All jumbled up inside, never knowing which way to turn because it may not lead us in the right direction, and there are so many different things that make up our bodies’ composition.
Mental Health is a topic that hasn’t really been spoken upon in the past. Some may even look at it as being “taboo”. I am here to help add on to the cause of breaking the stigma around it and hopefully shed a more positive light on the people, like me, who live with mental illnesses and try to stop saying we suffer from it. Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember suffering from anxiety. I would have really bad anxiety attacks, even worse I suffered from asthma so it would feel like I’m having a panic attack, which I probably was anyways. My mom did not know what it was at the time, she would just tell me to try and relax so that I don’t make myself sick. Now that I am older, I realized exactly what it was. Now, as I grew older, into my teenage years, I suffered from depression terribly. I was very unhappy and felt alone for most of the time. Yes, I did try to commit suicide a few times. It’s not a secret and nothing for me to be ashamed of now. I’m telling you, your mind can be your worst enemy. You can think you are all fine and dandy, and your mind will be like “oh yeah? Let me take you down memory lane” and it’ll be a bunch of negative memories, events, and thoughts that just hit you out of nowhere. You’ll be trying to go to sleep at night next thing you know, you’re lying in the dark for five hours fighting sleep and your thoughts.
Breaking the Stigma. Within minority communities, mental health is not taken as seriously as it should be. People will call you crazy, say you have the devil inside of you, may think you are lazy, or will just try to beat out whatever “issues” you have inside of you. Like my mother, a lot of other people believe that you can just pray the mental illness away but like I’ve been saying a lot recently if God could take it away so easily, why did he give it to me in the first place? Mental health affects more people than we even know about or think of. It doesn’t have to be them dealing with Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder, but it could be as simple as an OCD problem, being nervous/anxious before doing anything or going anywhere, or even just the thoughts you have about yourself. Until we come to terms with the fact that mental health issues are indeed real, we can never help each other through our difficulties. Some of us may even need therapy to help with our problems and that is okay too. I have been saying I was going to go to therapy myself for about three years now, and I have yet to make it, but it doesn’t happen overnight either! Healing, processing, and coming to terms with what is going on in your mind takes time to understand. Try educating the people in your life about what you are dealing with so maybe they can change their outlook on what they already think. If this doesn’t work, then it is no longer your job to change their mind/outlook because they just do not want to.
Awareness. We have to learn how to create safe spaces for one another. Everyone is fighting a personal battle that we may not know about. It costs nothing to show someone compassion and love. I keep a post-it note on my computer at work that says “Be kind always! You NEVER know what personal battles someone else is going through!” and I try to live like this every day of my life. Even when people are not treating me the best, I still kill them with kindness because you never know what they are going through either. Create safe spaces for your friends and family. They may not trust or feel safe around anyone else, so don’t make them feel even worse. Also, if you encounter someone who is possibly going through a manic episode, please do not call the police. Jail is not the place for someone who is suffering from an episode to be. They will hurt them, make matters worse, or possibly kill them. Practice and learn breathing techniques so you know how to help someone who may be going through a panic/anxiety attack. There are so many ways we can help each other out through our struggles whether we deal with mental health issues or not, it won’t hurt to just be patient and kind. I hope that this gets people thinking, helps some of you learn how to deal with the people in your life or even yourself while dealing with mental health, and helps spread awareness on the different types of mental health issues that you may need to do research on. Our mind/life can be like a Rubik’s cube, but eventually, it always gets solved.
Also, it is okay to not always be okay. We all can’t be a strong friend every time.
If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/how-i-supported-my-colleague-with-mental-health-issues/