I just wanted to share my #MOTD, done in memory of frontman Chris Cornell, and as a way to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ll give the details now, before jumping into some more serious matters.
Notoriously Morbid – Kill Us Both Spock, Coven Muffin, I Burn, I Pine, I Perish (highlight)
Juvia’s Place – Chad
L.A. Splash – UD Brow in Carnaby Orchid
Notoriously Morbid –
I Burn, I Pine, I Perish highlighter
Promised to the Dead blush
Who Is She Cosmetics – Blood Moon highlighter
Notoriously Morbid – Rune
I’ve been a Chris Cornell fan for years, via Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog. In fact, I saw TotD back before Pearl Jam was born, where I remember falling in love with Eddie Vedder (and not much else *snorts*). It seems ironic now that this was during a time when I particularly struggled with my own mental health. I was going to school in Oregon, away from my family and friends, and I hadn’t yet forged any friendships at a level that made me feel comfortable sharing something so personal. It was shortly after I’d given up on doctors and had begun to self-medicate.
I had no way of knowing then that Chris was fighting a similar battle, or that we are surrounded by people every day that are doing the same. Mental illness can make you feel alone. It can make you feel detached from yourself, others, or the things you normally love to do. As difficult as it may be, as a first step, you should talk to someone. Even if it’s a stranger with a friendly face. This helps tremendously with the feeling of being alone, and something as simple as having someone to talk to can brighten your outlook a bit. It can also mean access to valuable resources. Meet-ups, activities, or social groups can help, too, just be safe when planning. Online groups are a great resource, too, and whether they are mental health-specific or deal with other interests, doing things you enjoy, or just chatting with people with common interests can foster interaction.
Mental health care is by no means an exact science, and it is NOT one-size-fits-all. Much like it is hard work to lose weight and become more physically fit (a battle for another day, sigh), finding and keeping your mental health balance is work, too. The key? Don’t. Give. Up. Find what works best for you. Do you respond well to medication? Take it! Take it regularly and always according to your doctor’s instructions. Medication not working for you? Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage, switching your medication, or stopping altogether. Never adjust your own dosage! Some meds have adverse mental or physical effects if stopped suddenly, and may require a weaning-off process.
The point is knowing what’s best for you. I choose to self-medicate, and I incorporate things that make me happy, whether it’s nail polish, crafts, makeup, or coloring. While this is how I deal with my illness and keep on an even keel, I wouldn’t advise my methods for everyone. I’ve tried medication on different occasions, but I was once prescribed a medication that was horribly wrong for me and could have caused unspeakable damage if I hadn’t realized it. I was later prescribed other medications that just weren’t a good fit, as far as side effects, or the way they made me feel. At best, any meds I’ve tried made me feel like a zombie… and that was the best of a dozen or so. I’ve seen others with the same diagnosis take the exact same medications with stellar results. When it comes to your mental health, don’t be pressured into doing something that doesn’t make you feel better, and don’t feel obligated to do anything based on someone else’s experiences. There is no shame in moving on to another method, or in saying something doesn’t work for you. The only wrong thing to do is to stop trying. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and you deserve the help you need to cope, whether it’s medication or meditation, therapies or activities…there’s no right or wrong treatment – your only concern should be what’s right for YOU.
If you’re not sure where to start, call your local 311 service for mental health resources, or check your state’s main website for resources. You can often get free or income-based help with many services, from help finding a doctor, to affording your medication, to finding employment or housing.
I’m working on being more open, because that makes me feel better. I’m also trying to figure out how to help others, in particular, those who feel they have no one to talk to, or that no one cares. I comment wherever I can, that anyone should feel free to reach out, should they need someone to talk to. I’d like to have a network of people available to chat if someone needs a friend or assistance finding resources. If you have any ideas, please feel free to comment or message me, whatever makes you most comfortable. Thanks so much for any suggestions.
Do you have someone to talk to in a crisis? Is there anyone to turn to when you need support? I’m here. The offer always stands.
If you’ve taken the time to read my ramblings, I thank you.