Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Mental Illness and The Holidays

Okay, so here's the (very simple) deal - living with mental illness is hard. It's hard on a Monday morning, it's hard on a Saturday night and it doesn't take a break even when you wish it did. Unfortunately that means that millions of people across the world are undoubtedly facing the holidays whilst battling their mental illnesses. Having spoken out a lot about my mental illness in the past, I debated whether or not to write a post about it at Christmas - I decided against it but then saw something that suggested that bloggers weren't doing enough to talk about how hard Christmas can be for people with similar issues to me.

Here's why; I don't know you. I know I struggle around Christmas, I know I was diagnosed around this time and spent last Christmas exhausted and fighting with new medication. I know my own illness inside out - but I'm not really wanting to speak for everyone - more than that though, sometimes I just don't want to speak about mental illness at all - I deal with two of them battling 24 hours a day, sometimes I find respite in writing about it here and other times I want to keep schtum; and that's fine. I don't write about mental illness out of obligation, I write it because it's a part of me and sometimes that's what I want to write about on this space on the internet.

I don't want people to feel forced to talk about their illnesses - I don't want this obligation to force people into telling non-sufferers how difficult they are finding right now. I want people to get through Christmas in whatever way suits them - whether it be writing down their innermost feelings on their blog, or whether it be going completely radio silent. I'm well aware that Christmas is hectic even when you don't have a mental illness and so I'm just happy that people are finding ways to cope.

Mental illness is so intimate and personal that we shouldn't be dictating what people do, we shouldn't be complaining not enough people are talking about mental illness - talk about how much or how little you're comfortable with; don't be forced into talking about Christmas with a mental illness by anybody.

Sammy xo.

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