Some friends came over on Saturday night. We had planned to go out and visit various Halloween themed attractions. It’s our fall tradition and I always thoroughly enjoy it. But to be perfectly honest, my mental health wasn’t so great that night.
I didn’t want to rain on everyone’s parade. I didn’t want to cancel plans. Especially when the plans were actively in motion. I mean, my friends were already at my house. They were packed and ready to go. Everyone was excited.
I spent what felt like an eternity planning what I would say. How I would cancel. How I would tell my friends that I didn’t feel up to going. But I was coated in so much fear.
I began building the confidence to go out anyway. I was working to convince myself that I could handle it. That I could handle going out to eat, standing in lines at Halloween attractions, and going through mazes filled with screaming people. So many noises. So many lights. So many people. So much energy. Too much. I was working so hard to convince myself that I could handle it. But I knew that I couldn’t. Not on this particular night.
I took a deep breath and I communicated doubt in my ability to go out. I’m pretty sure I said something vague like “I’m just not feeling it tonight.” One friend kindly and encouragingly said “put on something you’re comfortable in, maybe that’ll change your mind”. It sounded simple enough. I went to my closet and put on sweat pants with a Deadpool shirt. That still didn’t do it, so I pulled out my Dawn of Justice cape. Then I bravely emerged from my closet. I danced around the living room pretending I was Supergirl.
Everyone got a good laugh out of it. It was fun. It lifted my spirits. Although, not enough to leave the house. I was nervous, but I told my friends that I just didn’t have it in me. I didn’t have the energy to go out. I felt safer and more confident staying home. I told them that they could go without me. I meant it. I wanted them to have fun. But they didn’t go without me. They stayed with me.
We made burgers. We played video games. We played Heads Up!. We stood outside and looked at the stars, debating which constellation was which. We stayed up till 3:00am playing games and having fun at my house.
I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful that I told my friends what I needed for my mental health. I’m thankful that I’m surrounded by people that respect my mental health, and what I’m capable of.
I would have been totally fine if they’d gone without me. It wouldn’t have hurt my feelings. I was happy to stay home with my dogs while my friends went out. But that’s not how it went and I’m overwhelmingly happy about that.
Mental health support is important. I hope you have mental health support like this. I hope you surround yourself with people who add value to your life. I hope the people around you make you feel loved. I hope they help you love yourself. I hope you have this.
I hope you are surrounded by people who will watch you dance in a cape…
I don’t write new blog posts very often. I post on social networks daily, but I don’t make it to my blog as often as I should. For instance, this particular blog post started as a tweet. Then I realized, this should be a blog post. So, here I am. You may be wondering: “why would she share this ugliness?” I share because someone like me might read this, and I want them to know that they are not alone. I want them to know that they matter. YOU MATTER. Your mental health matters.
Dance in a cape. Stay home. Sleep. Go to therapy. Call a friend. Go out for brunch. Brush your hair. Wash your face. Drink water. Cry. Read. Call a hotline. Hug a dog. Say “no”. Say “yes”. Do whatever you need to do for your mental health. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.