Sharyce M. This subject is important, so I am stepping out of my comfort zone.
It can be a secretive thing or something that people feel ashamed about, but I definitely feel that [talking about] mental health is something people need to be open and receptive to. It would help people to not feel embarrassed about the way that they’re feeling. We all suffer with it. Talking about it is half the battle with overcoming depression and anxiety.
The fear of the unknown
During the pandemic I suffered with a lot of fear and anxiety, especially early on. Watching the news and hearing about people dying, fatality rates in nursing homes, even going to the grocery store was a battle. The fear of the unknown, that I was going to get sick or one of my children or one of my family members, it was really overwhelming.
How can I be an effective mom?
It’s hard dealing with this pandemic and raising kids and dealing with mental health. It’s hard because I feel like if I’m not okay, [my kids] are not okay. So if I’m not taking care of my fear, my anxiety, and knowing that I’m okay, then how can I be an effective mom? I look at my anxiety and my depression as a blessing because I can identify those early signs in my kids. If I see them maybe being withdrawn or sleeping a lot or changes in their behavior, I have to have those courageous conversations, like, “hey, what’s going on? Are you feeling okay? Let’s talk about it.”
There’s a sense of hopelessness, that I’m in this alone because I have no one to talk to. My encouragement to you is you’re not in this alone. There are so many people that deal with it and just don’t talk about it. You’re not in this alone. Those feelings are real and there’s nothing wrong with you.For me, my mental health has made me a better person.
I recognized how I was feeling. Recognizing and acknowledging how you’re feeling is empowering. If you’re in denial, you can’t get better. So I had to acknowledge: “I’m feeling fearful and that’s okay.” I know you may not be able to see it, but it’s going to make you a stronger person and it’s going to also you to reach out to other people who have experienced that as well.
Hang in there. You will get through this. Take care of yourself, whether it’s taking a long walk, maybe it’s journaling, maybe it’s connecting with a friend, a loved one that you trust and can talk to. Whatever your faith looks like, hold on tightly to that, because that is what’s going to pull you through. I pushed through. Stay encouraged. We’re going to get through this. I do see that there’s a silver lining in the cloud for everybody.