I want to talk about something different from my usual post right now. As October comes to a close, so does Mental Health Awareness Month. I would be surprised if anyone reading this post has never been affected by or had a family member or friend suffer from mental health defects. I, personally, have several friends and family members, including my mother and father, who suffer from depression and anxiety. My father’s mental health deteriorated so much that it contributed to his death my freshman year of high school. Looking back on how that event affected my own mental health, I wanted to speak on how I have moved on and continued to grow while coping with this loss.
As any death is, my fathers passing was extremely sad and tragic. At the time, I had no idea part of the reason for his passing was because of his mental health, and when I found out, only then did I begin to understand how real and serious it is to care for yourself and others. The first thing is to focus on yourself first. Through trial and error, I came to understand that if I was not healthy, I could not help others. Even if I tried to, it wasn’t as effective. Second, it’s important to understand that others prefer different forms of support. A friend might just want to talk, rant, or want assistance with something. With this in mind, it’s best just to let them know you’re there for them.
Something that I use to recenter myself is realize that at the end of the day, everything will work itself out and be ok. I feel like most people get caught up in the heat and stress of things that they forget everything will pass, including what the current problem or stress is. I use this philosophy all the time, and I often repeat it to my friends and family if I believe it will help them. I’ve always found it helpful to “ground” myself in this way because it also clears my mind and allows me to return to the issue of my stress and handle it better.