It never fails to surprise me what companies pass for as “Halloween costumes”, often using them as a way to laugh at a group of people that are part of society. One I have found over the years repeating is the “mental health patient”. So I decided this year, if you can’t beat them, join them.
This is the result – a picture of me as a mental health patient. Is it what you were expecting, oh no blood stains, straight jacket or crazy eyes. Can you not see the tears I cried for a week when I took this picture? Or the negative thoughts that ate away at me as I tried to enjoy the autumn sun? Also, how many years it took me to smile and take a photograph? This is what depression and anxiety can look like not those costumes you can buy.
We use costumes and masks to hide pain and sometimes the real us. Trying be happy as someone told us to “cheer up, what’s the worst that can happen”!? Personally, I am through with hiding behind them and scared of the stigma of others, they are part of the colours that make me but do not define me. So dress up tonight if you like, but be yourself tomorrow, shine on every day to end the darkness and break down walls of ignorance.
There is a saying that time is the greatest healer, and I would totally agree with it. What seems like a major incident today is but a footnote on our life’s story. In 2006 I hid the pain of depression inside and sometimes self harming my feet, I looked older than the almost 28 years I was suppose to then be. We are now in 2015, I let go of what hurt me and try not let today’s pains stick, setting them free as the sun sets. I am happier now within than I have ever felt previously. So whatever is making the world seem black, focus on the good things and keep the colour in focus. Remember we all have scars from where this world has bitten us, but it is now time to bite back.
In my hands lies the shattered remains of a vase,
Each piece pierced my skin to reveal a red blaze.
My tears fall to try put the fire but it is now a river,
Which sends my legs and arms into a deep shiver.
The fragments I cradle like a sick child needing aid,
As I fall to my knees all around me begins to fade.
Like a tree in the forest nobody hears the sound,
Of having a breakdown when lost but not found.
I wake with no sign of the vase pieces to be seen,
No scars or cuts showed where they’d once been.
Starting to rock in the position of a newborn baby,
I cry out for help from the walls in a muted plea.
I feel like a rock that has fallen down from a cliff,
Pushed over the edge after yet another miff.
As I move I realise I am the vase that shattered,
I wish I’d not been born a of glass but like a bird.
How do you mend a broken glass I ask of myself,
I have nothing left to read on the old bookshelf.
Stumbling to my feet I decide maybe once more,
The phoenix within me then rises so I can soar.
I laugh as I feel the wings that I never knew I had,
I will cope now with whatever in life makes me sad.
Three words I write on my left wrist to remember,
“Believe it again” they say and be my life’s anchor.
Negative self thoughts, we all have them. I want you reading this to know that you are a loved for who you are, a beautiful person who tries their best, and you deserve better. Do not let anyone else make you feel you are worth less than a grain of sand; but a wise person knows that a grain of sand is loved and this why beaches are covered in so many grains.
Do not apologise for not being good enough, as long as you give something all you can, that is enough. You have a value beyond money. Do not let others take advantage of or abuse you, and equally do not abuse yourself! Let your spirit soar like an eagle flying over mountains, know you are doing just fine. You are not a failure and never will be.
We all need a little reminder at times that we are someone that matters. Treat yourself to something that makes you smile, be it phoning up a friend you have no spoken to in ages to share news and giggles, going for a walk in a local park or having a long hot soak in the bath, it does not need to cost money. Remember, it’s the little things that matter most in life.
Keep this message somewhere in your heart and soul to remember when those negative thoughts try become a song, as they will get you singing along to their minor chords if you listen to them. Think of all the good things that you have done and what you have achieved against the odds, let those positive thoughts fill your heart like a gas station pump fills a car.