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It’s My Anniversary – Not That One

It’s my anniversary! No, not the anniversary of my birth, not the anniversary of my marriage to my hubs, not even the anniversary of me becoming a mom {or dog mom}. It is the 15th anniversary of me starting therapy services for mental health & if you would have asked me even 2 years ago if I would ever write a post like this – my answer would’ve involved a bold and determined “No”. My mental health struggles were my personal business and I did not see the need to share them with anyone outside my tightest of circles. To be honest, I was not sharing more than a need to know amount of information with anyone outside my therapist office and my best friend. So why share anything now? In March, many articles came out about a local Indiana mom whose mental health struggles caused a tragedy in her life and to her family. I think it is important to have conversations about mental health, and I believe “celebrating” the length of my time in therapy shows that support through mental health struggles is not something that happens in a matter of days, weeks, or months.

There are still always going to be things about my journey that I do not share with the general public {details of some of the events and people I discuss with my psychologist} or what type of medications I have or have not taken. I have become more comfortable sharing a few more details with people, such as diagnosis that I have and how to best support me personally. I have been diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. All of these have been a different beast at different times in my life, and no two people with the same diagnosis are the same, even if they can share similar feelings at different times in their lives. Before now, I rarely told anyone that one of them was PTSD because I have never been in the military and I never wanted to have to go into the reason why I can have that diagnosis. You see, sharing a traumatic event can be as dramatic as when the event happened the first time. Also, keeping in mind that even if I find you to be a wonderful person, you may not be on my “safe space” list. This is not me saying you aren’t someone I trust, but keeping in mind that my personal journey has caused me to limit those people that I consider “safe”.

I think if I had to ask people for one thing when it came to mental health, it would be to be conscious of your words. I think a lot of people are quick to talk or respond with their own experience when they find out someone else is struggling. In a lot of situations, this is wonderful & exactly what that person may be reaching out for in the first place! However, keep in mind the context in which you discovered this information. Maybe the person felt pressured to share the basic information, but has zero interest in sharing the details. Be the person that knows when to empathize with stories & when the best way to support them is by simply changing the subject and taking them out of the spotlight.

Author

theindymommy@gmail.com
  • I hate that people say PTSD is only for people in the military. I too suffer from it as well and people do not think about the words they use because they don’t understand something. It takes courage to be transparent about things that have happened in your life or sharing personal struggles. Thank you for being an encouragement and putting yourself out there.

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