Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive, tweeted something earlier today that really resonated with me; “It is sometimes hard, but hearing from people every day about living with mental health problems is also incredibly inspirational. People surviving through these invisible wars, and living and loving and laughing despite it all, are my heroes.”
This is true in so many ways. So, I want to break this tweet down, and talk about it. I’ll start by addressing the first four words; “It is sometimes hard”.
Since I started blogging about mental health I’ve received tons of messages from people who want to talk about their own struggles. Most days I find myself reading and replying to messages with tears in my eyes. It is sometimes hard. Reading personal messages about self-harm, worthlessness, depression, anxiety, abuse, eating disorders, and suicide isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes an emotional toll on me, and for two main reasons; (1) this stuff is real, and it is valid, and (2) I feel powerless to help these people… all I can offer are my words, and I worry that they won’t be enough.
Now, I want to move on to the second part of his tweet; “but hearing from people every day about living with mental health problems is also incredibly inspirational.”
I’m astonished and inspired by the strength of the people who message me. Some are complete strangers who let their insecurities, fears, failures, and successes spill into heartfelt messages. Some are long-time friends and acquaintances who are telling me about a side of their lives that the outside world has never seen. I sit behind my computer, I read the words of these strong and valid individuals, and I realize two things; (1) I’m not alone, and (2) I want to do everything in my power to show other people that they are not alone.
It is sometimes hard, but it is absolutely always worth it.
On to the third part of his tweet; “People surviving through these invisible wars, and living and loving and laughing despite it all, are my heroes.”
My eyes have been opened to a word of strong individuals who are living courageous lives, while also fighting a war that no one knows about. These people are strong, and beautiful, and kind, and so extremely courageous. Each person is valid, and truly amazing. I am genuinely inspired by the stories I hear, and by the strength of the people that send them to me.
I am so grateful to everyone that has opened up to me. I sincerely hope it never stops. I try my best to help you, but you have helped me more than you know. I love your messages. I love your stories. I love how brave you are. I love all of you. Thank you, forever and always.
Sincerely, Uncustomary Housewife
Do you have a mental health story to tell? I want to help you tell it. Check out my Not Alone Series for more information.