The Middle Series: #BellLet’sTalk

January 30th, 2019 was #BellLetsTalk day—the day you share your stories and tweet the hashtag to raise awareness of the normality of mental health issues. Scrolling through my feeds, I see it all: people overcoming bipolar disorder, anorexia, depression, anxiety and so on. I want to share my story and do my part to end the stigma, but my thumbs hesitate over my keyboard. I have nothing to say.

I have never been exceptionally blue to the point of calling it depression or anxious enough to call it a disorder or moody enough to spark questions within myself. I’ve had my bad weeks and my low points but such is life, right? I always had the privilege of overcoming my demons with some amount of grace and ease, but I have struggled. I had my problems that have required more than a nap and a glass of wine, but I never had to see a doctor or seek out help, so who am I to say it’s okay and normal for life to be too much sometimes? I eventually came to realize exactly who I am:

I am the middle.

I am here for the people who can’t get over a break-up or can’t go to class late because the anxiety of people noticing makes it hard to breathe, but are almost always fine. I am here for you, middle child of mental health issues. I see you crying over nothing for the first time in a while or trying to fade into the background when you hear people laughing because it could very easily be at you. I am here to tell you it’s okay to want to seek help because you’re worried it could get worse. I am here to tell you it’s also okay to admit you’re having a bad week and need a little bit more love. You are normal, and the stories you have to share are just as problematic and worthy of telling as any others that you may have read. Remember not to define the severity of what you are dealing with by what you see around you. This is about you too, and you matter. Your better-than-some but worse-than-some mental health matters. Speak out, share your story and do what is best for you if you need to because odds are there is someone else in the middle wondering the same things you are.

Your heartache, daily struggles and pain matter. They will always matter despite how big or small the problems may seem to you.

The middle is grey and bleak, often without clarity of what is normal or offbeat, but it is there and you are not alone. So hashtag away in your Facebook posts next year, tweet exactly how you feel and expose who you truly are: a very loved part of the middle.

 

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