May is Mental Health Awareness Month: My final post on the topic. Don't let crazy win

This is my final post for mental health awareness month and one that I am so proud to be able to write. Truth is, for many years of my life, I didn't think I’d ever be able to write this post. I didn’t think I’d ever be at this place is my life; I live my day-to-day life in place of peaceful contentment, I can ride out the highs and lows as they come, and I am strong enough and confident enough to share my story.

When my crazy was winning, I never cried. No tears of happiness or sadness ever fell from my face. I was being robbed of such incredible emotions! Sadness sucks but it is also a gift, it means you can feel, you can empathize, and you are not numb to the badness. It’s hardly past noon today and I have already shed both happy and sad tears. Both emotions rushed over me, through me, and then out of me. I am no longer stuck living in the hell of being dead to feeling. If you never cry, please get help.

When my crazy was winning, I was stuck in a place of fear. Making simple decisions like which el to take home exhausted me because I found myself judging the risks of imaginary dangers and the ever present fear of being anything less than perfectly efficient, crippling. Today I took the red line home because it offered me a nicer walk . Steps and more time underground be damned, the decision was made in seconds! If you live a place of fear, please get help.

When my crazy was winning the future was a dark and scary place for myself and everyone else. Can you believe that when my sister first told me she was pregnant my first thought wasn't how truly amazing that was it was “oh no! What if something happens to the baby?” That is sick. Today I thought of my cousins going off to college and I had no fears for them, just so much joy and wonder about their futures. If the future scares you, please get help.

When my crazy was winning, I thought that if told anyone about it, they would judge me and see me only as “crazy.” I thought I didn't deserve to get help. Now I know that telling people about my crazy, owing it, and laughing about it takes away its power. I  am not ashamed of who I am. In all of my imperfect glory I am person who cares deeply for others, who strives to be a doer, and yes, I feel more of life’s lows than most other people but I am also someone who is always looking to celebrate even the tiniest of life’s highs. I simply don't need people in my life who can't deal with the fact that I might be the friend you pick up at “scratch and dent” sale. No matter what your story is, if you are not living in a healthy place, please get help. You deserve help.

Depression and anxiety manifest differently in all of their victims so the fight for mental health is different for everyone. For me the winning combination was therapy and meds. I actually want to kick in the face anyone that suggests I just need to “eat better” or “exercise more” or “get right with God.” I have nothing against any of those cures but they weren't and aren't right for me.  That said I am sure they are right for many other people and if you are thinking about facing your crazy in a show down, go ahead and try one of those three suggestions, it certainly won't hurt.

The war against my crazy has been long and difficult. I know that there is no changing the fact that I will face battles, big and small, the rest of my life but I do know that telling others about it and hopefully being able to offer help to others, has made it considerably easier.  My crazy isn't winning any more. Whatever your crazy is, don't let it win.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you.

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