I learned a lot while writing for the whole month of October on mental health. One of the things that really stuck out for me, is how lucky I am. That might seem dismissive of the work that myself and others have put into my health but on the surface it is true. So I want to take a moment to take stock of the things that make me lucky.
- I am so thankful that I am able to afford and access private mental health treatment. Many people do not have the same opportunities. So many live in rural areas, where the only option is to see a visiting psychiatrist. This psychiatrist may only visit every few months and too bad if you do not gel with them. There is no other option, unless you are able to travel for hours. Hours worth of travel for a 15 minute appointment.
- I am so thankful that I have had support from friends and family. This support has come from far and close. I have ‘met’ some amazing people both in real life and online. It is through this support that I am where I am today. I admit that it must have been hard for my family and friends to watch as I tried so hard to destroy myself. However I am glad that they saw the person beneath my actions.
- I am so thankful for this blog. I don’t know if I say it enough, but I love the support that my readers give. I love that people feel comfortable sharing their words with me in this space, that they feel safe enough to do so. Without your support I think I would have given up a 100 times over.
- I am so thankful that I live in a country where, even though it may not be the best, we do have access to mental health care. The developed countries as a whole have a long way to go with the way that they treat the mentally ill. However I believe that we are so much more lucky than those countries who don’t accept the mentally ill at all. We live in a country where there are people speaking out about their struggles with mental illness and they are brave, so brave. We live in a country where we can have that voice without fear of being killed.
- I am so thankful that the conversation is happening in so many places now. The people who speak up are the people who are paving the way for change. If you have ever shared your story then know that you are making a difference. You might feel like only one person, but all great change starts with just one person saying ‘I don’t like this’.
What are you thankful this week?