(Trigger warning: themes of suicide)
So, it’s #WorldMentalHealthDay today, and I’m really struggling. I find this day tends to creep up on me every year, and even though it should be a good day for me to be active on my blog and social media, I always find it the hardest. This year, I have seen a big focus on the discussion of suicide prevention, and this is a really tough one for me: while I know that this is a heart-wrenchingly urgent part of the conversation surrounding mental health, and it is incredible to watch so many people coming together to raise awareness, I have struggled all day to figure out exactly what I want to say.
For me, this day, and this conversation, makes me remember all of the friends I have lost to suicide. It is a day that makes my heart break over and over again. It makes me terrified to lose anyone else, and scared to put a foot wrong when inputting to the conversation. It makes me cry and feel sick to my stomach, worried about every single vulnerable person in my life, and reminds me of the sheer panic of receiving news like that again.
It is a day that makes me so proud to see the amount of people that are able to speak up, but even more so makes me scared for the people that can’t, or don’t. It makes me want to remind everyone, including myself, to start a conversation about mental health, to tell their friends that they love them, to check in on friends that they haven’t spoken to in a while, to not be afraid to tell someone about a struggle they have been facing, not just today, but every day. But today also makes me realise that the problem can run deeper than social media. It can make me feel a sense of uselessness in the face of suicide and makes me wish there were more ways we could and would all help each other. It makes me wish that the world was a nicer place, and that everyone could see it that way.
Today, I want to be a positive influence on the people around me that are struggling. I want to help in any way that I can and to listen and to hug and to cherish everyone around me. But I also want to block out the memories of loss, the memories of depression and the memories of every ounce of pain surrounding this conversation. I miss my friends, and I don’t ever want to miss any more.
I know that this isn’t the most cheery of outlooks on a day that is really incredible for mental health awareness, but it is my truth, and instead of hiding away and not posting anything at all, I felt I wanted to share this. I know that this day can be hard for a lot of other people, too, and I just wanted to remind people that it is okay to struggle with these conversations sometimes, and that just because we are all opening up more doesn’t mean that it is always easy.