Be Brave, Ask for Help

On Tuesday night I sat in my bath and cried. The kind of ugly cry you do when you are just done with being strong and putting on your game face. Earlier that day I sat in Foxie’s room, watching Richie play with him and I felt this intense sadness. The words I am profoundly unhappy actually came out of my mouth. It should have been a beautiful moment but there I was, just completely disconnected and unable to see past my feelings.

Reading my posts and passing me in the street, you likely would have no idea I was feeling this way (I am good at the game face, usually). I am one of the lucky ones – I live in a beautiful country with an amazing kind fiance and three adorable healthy kids. I have a job I enjoy, a lovely place to call home and food in my belly. I know how fortunate I am, which makes the way I have been feeling even harder to understand.

I don’t know exactly when it started but for a long time I haven’t been myself. I had been putting it down to being tired, but really, how long can you use that excuse for? Some days are easier than others, I do feel joy and happiness, I love my little family like mad but the hard days are really hard. My temper is out of control, my patience is non-existent and it really isn’t fair on anyone close to me.

So this week I am going to ask for help from a professional. I am going to nap more when Fox naps, take a breath before I deal with stressful situations. I am going to try and exercise more in the hopes that some positive endorphins will assist me. I will put my phone down more and be in the moment. I am going to put myself first.

I have um’ed and ah-ed about sharing this post. I still don’t feel 100% at ease with it, maybe because I don’t like asking for help. Possibly because there is still a stigma around mental health. Likely because it makes me feel weak and vulnerable acknowledging that I have a problem. Regardless, here we are – me putting my heart on my sleeve and promising myself publicly that I am going to see someone about this. Hoping that if you are feeling the same way, even remotely, that you will too. Sometimes, asking for help is the bravest thing you can do.

Rosie xx

Ps. I wasn’t sure where to start with getting help but a wonderful friend of mine has advised that the best first step is to see a GP and request a full physical and mental health check up. Sometimes there are physical reasons that contribute to feeling low in mood. Most commonly – vitamin deficiency, a hormone imbalance, gut issues or thyroid dysfunction.
The GP should also do a brief mental health assessment with multiple choice questions like these. If the assessment shows you meet the criteria for depression or anxiety the doctor will usually discuss two treatment options; medication or ongoing counselling with a mental health professional such as a psychologist. The doctor can prescribe the medication themselves and will write a Mental Health Care Plan which allows you to access Medicare subsidised counselling and includes a referral to a Mental Health Professional.
I was actually shocked to learn that around 45% of people in Australia will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. That’s almost half, so if you look at your family and friendship groups nearly one in two will go through a mental illness at some time in their life!
Unfortunately thoughts of suicide can be a symptom of mental health conditions too so if you are worried about your own or someone else’s safety please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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