Mental health is often stigmatized and treated like a secret no one must know about. It is just as important as physical health, and many people are affected by it personally, or know someone that has been affected. We can no longer put a hello-kitty band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. Internal pain that is dismissed gets worse over time, and it is not going to get better without the proper treatment, attention, care, and resources.
We talk about mental health because someone needs to know they are not alone. We talk about it because it is a silent killer whose signs and symptoms are ignored too often. We talk about mental health because it is not a fairy tale someone made up for attention. We are talking about life and death. A physical health problem gets treatment as soon as it is recognized. Likewise, if caught early, serious problems involving mental health can be avoided. A person diagnosed with stage 1 cancer does not wait until it is stage 4 to get treatment. A person suffering with mental health may not get this immediate treatment and may be afraid to speak up in fear of rejection, resentment or being seen differently.
Unfortunately, society does not do a good job portraying these issues and it is best understood by someone whose dealt with them first-hand to speak out. This can be as simple as greeting someone and asking, “How are you?” If they say good or fine, respond with the question, “Are you really?” Listen to them. This is the start of acknowledgment and acceptance. We talk about mental health because together we can break the stigma.
(written by BRR intern)
Whether we struggle with an eating disorder, addiction, or any other issues involving mental health, there is always hope for recovery. During recovery, or even after, it can be tempting to make our lives exactly how it was before. Though this may not happen, we can successfully manage our symptoms to where they do not rule over our lives. Here are 5 ways to live beyond rules:
2. Take off the shades of negativity
On a bright sunny day, you might be tempted to put on sunglasses. After all, they do protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, and then they are taken off when your eyes are safe from harm. Our negative ways of thinking may have been a way of coping in the past. They helped then, but in a place of recovery you are safe.
3. Be your closest friend
Treat yourself like you would a close friend. Anything you say to yourself imagine saying it to them. Name a person that is completely perfect. We are all human; give yourself grace. Grace is not earned; it is freely given despite accomplishments. You are not alone, you are understood, heard, and here for a reason. Make each day purposeful. Sometimes we feel like every day is a fight to survive. I understand this battle too well, let us both decide to live long enough to find our joy in life.
4. Live fully
Do not limit yourself based on what others say about you, or what you say about yourself. Try new things. Try Traveling, a new recipe, or activity. Maybe try something you have never done before like swimming with dolphins, getting a massage, ziplining, or trying out a float spa?
5. Reach out
Recovery is a tough battle, and it is hard to fight alone. Whatever the battle is, there is hope. Hope is for “Hold On Pain Ends.” We are well worth recovering. It is important to get a support person that can help hold us accountable when we are not able to. We can, and we will win this fight together.
The Beyond Rules Recovery blog is written by people who are passionate about mental health and wants to spread the message of hope, resiliency, and recovery.