There were days when I woke up with a weight on my chest, and the cloud descended over me. Isolated, fearful, anxious. So many days, so many hours, lost into the shame and stigma of being unwell in my head, locking myself away so I didn’t spread the doom that I was feeling. When I wasn’t ready.
Days – no, weeks – where I didn’t want to speak to anyone because I was scared I would cry and embarrass them and make them feel awkward. There were so many times I would drag myself together, shower, get dressed for the first time in days and pretend. Pretend that the storm in my head wasn’t raging, that my heart wasn’t jumping out of my chest and that so many times that I wasn’t ready to say ‘this is a part of me’ and ‘I need help’. I pretended every day that I was okay, that everything was okay. I wasn’t ready.
I was far, so far, from being okay.
Mental illness is something we have to talk about because there are too many of us terrified to talk about the storm that is brewing in our heads. So many fearful to say “I’m unwell and I need help”, or terrified that others will think they have failed.
Mental health problems do that to us. Whether it’s anxiety, postnatal depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis; so many of us will have felt that moment our minds started to break and knew that fear of not being well. And many of us will know that fear of being ‘found out’, or terrified that people will see us weak. That we aren’t doing our ‘jobs’ properly, that other mums can do what we can’t.
It took five years for me to finally be ready. To open up, and to find the help that I desperately needed in order get better, to get well and to share my experience to help others to feel less alone. The Motherload® was a huge part of my own recovery; it was my safety net, my support system, and the first place I spoke openly about my own struggle. It was the first place I felt ready.
Mental health problems still carry a stigma in our society, even now, in 2018. Many of us are are scared of mental illness; we treat it with kid gloves and talk about it in whispers, behind closed doors. We have GOT to change that stigma, and talk. And talk and talk and talk until it’s as normal as saying ‘my leg hurts’ or ‘I’ve got a headache’. We’ve got to get to a point where ‘my mind has broken’ is as normal as ‘I’ve got a cold’, or ‘I take anti-depressants’ is the same as saying ‘I’ve taken a painkiller’. Normalising mental health issues means that fewer women will feel isolated and trapped in their illnesses.
I’ve known that loneliness, and that’s why The Motherload® will always be a place where you can find the safety to say ‘I Am Ready’. I am ready to discuss how I am feeling. I am ready to talk about my mind, and my experience with mental health and I am ready to help other women say I am ready. I am ready to recover; I am ready to be me, and I am ready to accept support and help.
Recovering from mental illness is possible. But only if we are able to talk about it, normalise it, and say I Am Ready to be part of the change. I Am Ready to talk to those I think aren’t well, and to be the person that can help another be ready.
I AM READY. Are you?
Like this? Share it, and spread the MOLO love! You can read another of Kate’s brilliant blogs about her journey through PND, PTSD and anxiety here or for the latest from The Motherload® pop over to our homepage.
About Kate Dyson
Founder of The Motherload®. Wife, mum to two girls, two cats and shit loads of washing in baskets that sit around the house waiting to be ironed. It never happens.Hater of exercise, denier of weight gain, lover of wine. Feminist.
Find me on Instagram