The Darkest Days And Soundless Screams - My Mental Health Story
Do you ever have them days where you feel the darkness consuming you, the black fog of emptiness suffocating your mind slowly trying to take over it, the cold chills running through your veins when fear sits in and you feel yourself drowning in your tears whilst gasping for air … Yeah I too so don’t worry you're not alone.
You are just walking down the street or laying in bed or maybe even just watching tv who knows? All you know is one minute you're smiling and then with the flick of a switch you are lost, trapped, trying to contain and control something that isn’t even there. A concoction you have created with the darkest side of your imagination, a fight that some lose and some keep fighting, them soundless screams for help only few can hear whilst others ignore or are oblivious to notice.
I may seem like the happy, bubbly, smiley gal but I have been struggling with mental health since I was 12 years old when I lost one of the most important people in my life; My nanny; coming to terms with losing her unlocked fear and pain in me I didn’t realise I had. From then on as I continued to grow up other obstacles came my way and tried to drag me down it was my knee injury that stopped me from studying dance at college and changed my career options making my dream to dance on stage more of a struggle, my house burning down; seeing the home I grew up in most of my life burnt and destroyed and recently there has also been Covid, not working and waking up each day with no real purpose just left me with much time to overthink and feel the depression and anxiety drowning me.
I have always fought through it, refusing to give up; on being consumed by such negativity, I do consider myself very lucky because I have a big family that has always been there for me, they never really given me a choice to fall it's not in Roff blood to give up, to admit defeat, we don’t let each other fall we hold each other up and tell each to keep moving or as Dory would say “just keep swimming” I’ve always said that things in life are not easy but it's not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up and with the support of my family I am not allowed to fall and stay down I have to continue to keep fighting.
There are days when sunshine appears through the clouds and then there are days when the dark clouds are all I can see. I refuse to let my mental health be corrupted I choose to get up every day, I choose to smile even when I wanna cry, I choose to dance when I wanna fall because that's my armour I’m a worrier like many and I want people to know they are not the only ones they are not alone and they are strong and fierce and they can keep going.
I know that it can be scary, It can make you feel damaged and worthless but that couldn’t be far from the truth and I wanted to share with you a piece of me, an insight into my darkness
it can be overwhelming but speaking up, showing what others may think are flaws are actually what makes you strong, makes you a fighter but struggling with the mental health of any kind doesn’t define you embrace the fear, the darkness and keep shining through. Why shouldn’t you shine? Why shouldn’t you fight? Why shouldn’t you win? It can weigh you down and can make you feel like there is no way out but I disagree you just have to keep going.
“You are the artist of your own life. Don’t hand the paintbrush to anyone else”
Tips from my experience - Reminder I am not a doctor or health professional of any kind this is just from personal experience.
1. Firstly talk to a doctor, I know it can be scary but talking to a professional can help as they can give you advice on what are the best options to help you.
2. Try working out as this releases endorphins that can make you feel better and more productive, it gives you a sense of achievement, I know when I do this it makes me feel more positive and motivated.
3. Talk to someone you trust such as a family member or close friend, I always look to my family members as I said they are my support group my rock and I appreciate them all so much.
4. Try to relax and be calm, maybe try yoga or meditation for me I like to read as it's relaxing and takes my mind off of the negative feelings and thoughts I have.
5. Make a list, for anyone who knows me I love a list but this isn’t a todo sort of list it's a list of things that makes me happy when writing about what makes me happy it gets my brain thinking about them, moments, memories and all good thoughts.
So are you gonna fall or fight?