When talking about suffering with mental health problems, people often use the phrase ‘battling with mental health’ as if the person who is unwell is metaphorically in a fight against their brain. While this is true, I feel that as well as having to deal with our own poor mental health, we also must fight a battle with the world.
Within the world there are so many things that can become more intense and difficult to manage.
From my own lived experiences, it can be really frustrating when you are surrounded by people who are unknowingly blind to how things can affect you, how the simplest of things can make life really difficult to cope with. Whether it’s because they do not understand or are not properly educated on the reality of dealing with mental health illness, the lack of empathy can be really condescending when your feelings are belittled.
There’s also the added pressure to keep up with the world – things like socialisation, work commitments and important responsibilities are difficult to manage and with mental health illnesses being viewed lightly as ‘hidden disorders’, it can feel like a burden to keep up with everything when not everyone can see or understand the effect (as they might with a physical health problem). I read recently about the idea of including “you don’t need to reply to this” or “no need to reply now” to emails and texts – even little things like this can take off a lot of worries and pressure about having to respond instantly if you aren’t in the right headspace.
Obviously both physical and mental health illnesses can affect people’s lives in extreme ways, yet it is important to raise an awareness of the many ways that a mental health illness can affect someone.
The message I wanted to portray was that – if you are suffering, keep on battling against the world and everything that keeps you from living your life, you are strong and worthy of empathy and understanding from the world. If you aren’t suffering, try and consider how even the smallest things can be overwhelming – just because it’s not a broken leg, it doesn’t mean that it won’t necessarily prevent a person from living their life normally.