What is a mental health illness? When I realised it was time to seek help, my struggles had passed for more than a decade. In those days, mental health illness was considered as a weakness, a flaw, a sickness that could not be healed. I lived in a dark cloud for many years and I didn’t understand why. People would just say I was a sensitive and emotional person. I had negative thoughts all the time. I even thought of ending things and let it be. Strangely, something pulled me back every time this thought came. Was it because another inner self was recommending me that death is not the end?
After struggling in my youth until adulthood, life didn’t get easier. Every now and then, my reactions take over my mind. I had hurt my beloved person, I had hurt myself, I was a real broken glass. Thanks to my then-neighbour, she had experience in dealing with mental health issues, she encouraged me to seek help. Does it mean “I admit that I am a crazy person”? The support from my family was not ideal. I guess we were all trying to understand this illness. When I wanted them to listen to my words, listen to what the doctors proposed, my family could not cope. Did I feel disappointed? I was. Did I feel like they abandoned me? I did not. Somehow, I found my way to put these dark clouds behind my back. Two reasons for my courage. I didn’t want to hurt people e.g. I should not allow my emotions to control my actions at work and in life. I didn’t want to argue with my family, because I was tired of shouting, yelling and crying. I had to change.
Because of my self-motivation and with suitable medication and professional supports, I made improvements slowly and steadily. Through my changes, my family and friends became more supportive and they started to understand it is not a sickness that can not be healed. I have started paying more attention to my surroundings. Constantly self-reflecting on my reaction and thought. I allow myself to say: it is okay to display your mood, but it doesn’t mean that you should let it become your past and ignore your true feelings.
Participating in charitable work, in order to help others who share the same experiences as myself, has helped me to become better. A small gesture or an appreciation to people around you helps build a harmonised environment, while it also helps us to be mindful of our inner self. You don’t have to go through this alone. When I feel struggle, I embrace it with positivity and remembrance that help is all around me.