Mental Health Week 18th May

Dear Yuri,

What a surreal time. Mental health week has fallen within these dark times of quarantine on the week commencing the 18th May. How strange that a week where the world reaches out to offer support, falls within the time we need it most.

Personally, I too suffer from the dark, lonely mind of anxiety and depression, suffocating me daily. However, this could be worse couldn’t it? At least I have my emotion numbing medication every day, a mother who holds my hand watching me break down, giving me unconditional support whilst I ride out the 50th panic attack of the day. A loving boyfriend who, despite being 61.7 miles away, 8 weeks apart and counting, is there for me virtually at a drop of a hat, proving once again that we are strong and secure. My friends who love me for who I am and bring tears to my eyes of pure laughter rather than the sadness I am used to. It could be worse, right?

It’s hard, intense focus on the negative aspects of my life, fighting against the devil in my mind who wants me to be sad, who tells me the world is against me and there is every reason to panic, screams how alone I am and how everyone would rather you not be there. Every. Single. Day.

You’re avoiding reality they tell me. You need to read the news; they ram down my throat. In reality, I am numb to this, I understand the seriousness, I promise I do. I have stayed inside, locked in these four walls, I have accepted this reality. Yet, my emotions are numb, I have perfected the art of bottling up, the art of hiding my emotions and pretending everything is okay. It’s my own act of escapism. It’s my superpower you see. Nothing will get out unless I allow it, or I blow, which ever comes first. You see, I have lived this lack of freedom, it was just in my head.

I have improved, I have got better, it was once upon a time, a lot worse. I have fought, cried, kicked and screamed. I have made my voice heard, working along side those with the position to allow it to be heard. Mental health is hard, tiring, a never-ending tunnel of darkness. Nothing is forever though; you learn that over time. The good, the bad ‚Äì actually, forget that, that’s wrong. Unconditional love is eternal, true friendship, the smiles, the memories, those moments you just want to freeze in time. They store in your heart forever, the heart is magical and scientifically proven to store memories (I promise, google it), my heart fights my head every day, reminding me this life is worth it.

I cannot wait for the magical day I can see the loved ones in the outside world, the ones I miss dearly. The day I can hug them, kiss them, feel their warmth. The day I can sit in the sun, not just 2 meters apart but holding hands. The day I can steal my boyfriend’s chips without the fear of Covid-19, the day I can cuddle my friends and family and show them endless love. This isn’t forever, not just Covid-19, poor mental health isn’t forever either. I promise.

18/05/2020, 24/05/2020, ask someone if they’re okay, not once, not twice, but three times.

Jade, Chester, England

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