Some might call me a bit of an oversharer, but its one of those things that is very normal in the blogging world. Probably not everyone wants to know how you’re feeling, what you’re wearing, what you’re eating, or various other things bloggers write about, but it’s what we do: we journal about all those things and more for the world to read and experience with us, if they like.
Writing this blog has always been extremely therapeutic for me. I write what I do so I can connect with others that are going through the same things as me; it creates a sense of community and let’s me know that I’m not alone. I crave that human-to-human connection, especially when I spend so much time alone living this rural life that I love so much.
Talk About Your Struggles
If I wouldn’t have confided in a good friend about struggling with Braden’s sleep when he was 4 months old and feeling hopeless, she never told me there was a solution to my sleep deprivation. I never would have learned about sleep training and shared how it was so successful and truly saved my sanity at that time. This is why I have shared extensively about our success with it, so that others will know that they don’t have to suffer if sleep is as important to their mental health as it is to mine.
If I wouldn’t have opened up about how much I love this life on the farm, but that I really started to feel the stresses of the struggles I was having as a farm wife, I wouldn’t have connected with so many farm and ranch wives (and wives-to-be and girlfriends of farmers) that were feeling the exact same things as me.
I have shared about my father’s alcoholism and how it ruined his life and our relationship when he was living it. I shared the tragic story of his death. I shared how years and years later I couldn’t understand why it was getting harder and how I came to realize that I finally needed to address my ongoing issues by starting therapy. Then I shared how confiding in a friend opened me up to the idea that taking an anti-depressant might be the right choice for me after all.
I have really felt so much comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my struggles and I can tell that by me sharing so openly, others want to not feel alone too.
There is Still a Stigma About Mental Health
I will be the first to tell you that I never thought that I would be taking an anti-depressant every day. I didn’t think I was “that bad” or that it would work for me. I know it sounds hypocritical, because as a nurse and someone who is very open to seeking help for mental health, I am not against medications at all—I just never thought it would be for me. I never thought I actually had legitimate, “diagnosable” anxiety until I went to therapy for the first time and realized that it could manifest it different ways. For me, it was rage. It was anger that I couldn’t control at times. I knew it was wrong and I didn’t want to feel this way, but I didn’t think taking a pill every day would help or that it would work for me. But boy, has it ever helped me.
I have received countless emails, private messages and comments on any post I have shared where I open up about my mental health journey with anxiety. I do not ever, for one second, feel that I am walking this part of my life alone. You are experiencing it too. You are reading my posts and the captions with the pictures I share and you know you aren’t alone. You have finally felt confident enough to address your own issues, problems and struggles. You finally picked up the phone and made an appointment to start therapy, or to get into see your family doctor to talk about your symptoms and your options. You realize that you are normal, but others are struggling like you are, and that there is hope and you can get better. There are lots of tools in the toolbox, you just have to know which ones will work best for you.
Please just know that you are not alone. There is nothing more “wrong” with you than there is anything “wrong” with anyone suffering from a physical disease. Don’t let your mental health issues build up inside you like a pressure cooker, it doesn’t have to be this way.