Creating a Distress Tolerance Kit

As anyone who struggles with anxiety, overwhelming thoughts, and overwhelming emotions, and panic attacks knows, there are many times when it feels like the mind has gone bye-bye and has taken logical, helpful thinking with it. In moments of distress, regardless of what triggered them, it can feel like torture. It can feel like the whole world is falling apart, that nothing is safe, and it’s very possible that you might die.

These feelings and thoughts can be paralyzing. I have a very hard time thinking clearly and being able to cope, self-soothe, or distract, can be challenging.

There are some days where I can use “Cope Ahead” from DBT to try and reduce the anxiety by preparing ahead of certain situations where my anxiety or a panic attack can be triggered. Some days though, coping ahead isn’t as effective as I would like it to be, or I didn’t think the anxiety would be so bad so I didn’t cope ahead at all. And some days the anxiety or panic attack hits with no reason or warning at all.

In order to try and reduce my anxiety, no matter where I am, I created a portable distress tolerance kit. It’s small enough I can carry it in my bag so I have it with me pretty much all of the time. At any given time I know where it is. In fact, I have even created a second kit with most of the same items to put in the other bag I use, just in case I forget to take the first one when I switch using bags.

I highly recommend creating a distress tolerance kit for yourself for when anxiety hits, and keeping it somewhere that you can easily get to it when needed, even carrying it with you for when anxiety hits while on the go. Create several kits if you need them and keep them any- and everywhere you may need to use it. Create one for at home, in your car, at work, in your bag, and even at a family or friends place. If you trust them to tell them what it is and what it’s for, of course.

Creating yourself a kit is super easy and can be low-cost too. I created mine by going to the dollar store and altogether I spent less than $20. There are tons of options that can be used for a distress tolerance kit.

Starting with the pouch, which can be any size and basically anything that can hold your little toys or puzzles or whatever. I found my little red pouch in the craft section of the dollar store. Really anything purse or pouch-like can be used. It all depends on how portable you need it to be and how many items you want to carry. You could use a little purse, a coin/change purse, a pencil case, even a sealable sandwich bag could work. If you keep a kit at home, find a pretty box or container you can use to hold your items. Be creative and check toy stores, dollar stores, clearance sections, housewares, crafts and stationary sections too.

As for the items to go into the kit, it is entirely up to you and your needs. Be creative and whenever you find something that helps you, no matter what it is, add it to the kit. Toy sections are an incredibly rich source for little toys and gadgets you can fidget or play with. Even the baby section can have a great selection of items that you can use to soothe or distract you when feeling anxious. Google ideas, too.

This is my distress tolerance kit, and what is included:
– small drawstring pouch
– mini slinky toy
– two small pointy toys
– squishy ball
– silly putty
– small soft mitten

This is the small drawstring pouch

This is the squishy ball (it’s rubber with water inside, and please ignore the fuzzy stuff that got stuck to it, it’s from the inside of the bag)

This is my mini slinky

These are my two pointy toys that I like to fidget with

This is my silly putty (store inside its egg to keep soft)

This is my mitten (it was, of course, a pair of baby mittens, I like to fidget with them because they are so soft)

This is a mini wooden puzzle. (I got this from a Toy Store called Masterminds. I like to fidget with this when I need something more challenging for my mind than just a pointy toy. But apparently, my skill level does not allow me to figure this stupid thing out so I don’t use it a lot.)

This is a mini Rubik’s cube

This is a mini Word Search book

I got all of these items, except for the wooden puzzle, at a dollar store. The wooden puzzle I got from a toy store called Masterminds. And like I said above, the whole kit, including the toy from the toy store, cost me about $20.

These are just some examples that you can use but whatever you find helps distract you and cope could be totally different. I recommend keeping the items small so you can carry them with you, if needed. Sometimes when I’m going out and I’m not carrying a bag I’ll just take the silly putty with me so if I need to fidget I have it on me.

Just remember whatever items you use are what will help you when you need it. It doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense or are not things that right off the bat seem like they will help. If fidgeting with a pencil helps you, then carry a pencil. If you like the way a fluffy little toy feels and helps to soothe you, then get the toy. If fidgeting with a bottle cap helps, then keep a bottle cap on you. It’s you and your needs you’re looking after.

I also have a rock that I like to fidget with and helps me do observe and describe, so yes, I have a rock in my pocket too.

Remember that whatever you decide to use, whether on their own, or collectively as a kit, should be accessible for when you need them. This means keeping them where you can find them and being able to use them because if you’re experiencing high anxiety or panic attack, you most likely won’t be thinking very clearly, so seeing and accessing the items should be easy and fast.

I add and take away items as needed too, so feel free to explore what helps you and rotate or replace items as you need it. You may be in a panic attack when you discover something that didn’t work, try and think to that moment and how you can have something else on hand to help you the next time. I thought a word search book would work for me but one day it didn’t I preferred something I could just fidget with, and so I discovered the silly putty helped.

Having a distress tolerance kit has helped me on many occasions. I do still have anxiety and panic attacks, and a few times I forgot I had the stuff, so it’s not foolproof nor will it totally take the anxiety away. I wish. It does help though. A lot. My anxiety has been reduced by having toys to fidget with, and I have avoided several panic attacks because of them too. Having several items can also help for days when your never know what can help. Sometimes I’m positive the slinky will help but it doesn’t, the toy helps, and other times the toy doesn’t help but the silly putty does.

Sometimes just knowing I have stuff with me can help.

I highly recommend taking the time, as much as needed, and creating your own distress tolerance (anxiety/panic attack) kit. And when you can, don’t leave home without it!

Good luck!

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I Just Know That I Am Not Okay

Every now and then I feel so alone I can honestly feel my heart breaking.

My throat starts to ache and tears well in my eyes and I feel empty inside.

I know that I am not alone. I have family and friends, and I am thankful for that. I don’t always feel it.

There are moments, like this one, where I don’t feel like I have family or friends. They might be there but they aren’t really there. Not really. They have their own lives and their own issues that they have to deal with. That’s just the way it goes. I get that. Life can be crazy and people can’t always be there when you need them.

I hope that I matter but I’m not sure that I do. In a more lucid moment I would say that’s the trauma from my childhood but this isn’t a lucid moment. This is a moment of darkness where I feel alone.

I feel totally alone. There is no one I can turn to and have them there. Right there. In that moment. When I need them.

I don’t know why someone can’t be there. I don’t know if they want to or not. I don’t know if they even try. I’m not them, so I don’t know.

I just know that I am not okay and it sucks to be alone.

Depression Just Sucks

Depression sucks. Big time. It sucks so very much. Seriously, I feel like I can’t stress this enough. It is a torturous nightmare. Every single day. And it hurts. Depression hurts a lot and it hurts everything. I mean everything. It hurts emotionally, mentally, and emotionally. It permeates into every cell of my being and sucks the life from them.

It feels like everything is dark and will never see the light of day again. It feels like I am drowning. My ankles are chained from below keeping me underwater. My arms are caught up in seaweed and nets so that I can’t break free to tread water or swim away. My head is barely above water. I fight to be able to breathe but it’s hard. I get tired very fast from trying to just detangle myself. If I am able to untangle the seaweed and the nets I am still left to fight the chains below from pulling me under.

I am often tempted to just sink and let myself drown. It’s such a hard battle and takes so much energy I don’t know if I will have enough energy left to make it. I’m still not sure. We’ll see.

The day starts with pain. Pain in my head, pain in my heart, and pain in my body. Getting out of bed is a monumental task (if I even get out of bed), every muscle I move feels like torture. My bones ache and I pray my body will be able to carry me. I first hope it will be able to carry me to start the day. I will have to deal with what happens after getting out of bed once I get out of bed.

If I have things to do I will have to work on the strength for those later, when it’s necessary. There’s no point in working on them now because I still have to work on getting out of bed and get moving. It all depends on whether I can gather the strength and keep the pain at bay enough to get things done.

Depression sucks the life out of absolutely everything. Nothing is sacred from depression. Everything is fair game to be crapped on; friends, family, work, home, socializing, interests, hobbies, goals, dreams, plans, attention, focus, concern, care, moving, thinking, feeling, blinking, eating, and even living.

If I was lucky, and I use the term loosely, I might be able to maintain a modicum of functionality. In fact, I was able to maintain this functionality for years. Giving off the illusion that everything in my life was just hunky dory when really it was anything but.

The balance of outside me and inside me overlapped at times but for the most part there was the me that the world saw, and then there was the me that hardly anyone saw. The me that the world saw was capable, attentive, working, engaging, on top of things, and maybe even at times, happy. The me that hardly anyone saw, cried a lot, had dark, upsetting thoughts, uncontrollable, overwhelming emotions, and believed that life just sucked.

I was able to eke out some outside interests for a while but it took a lot of work to maintain them. A lot of things got ignored, avoided, cancelled, and forgotten. I did just enough to make it look good and like I was functioning.

I no longer have two mes. Now it is just the one me, stuck in depression, among other things, and trying to make it through the day.

The depth of depression is astounding. It is sporadic and temperamental. It is tenuous and fragile. It is dysfunctional and destructive. It is traumatic and remorseless. It is relentless and pervasive. It is scarring and fatal. I can wake up feeling okay and on a good path, and mere hours later I could be feeling like suicide is the only way out.

I would say that I hate depression. I hate what it is and what it does. I hate what it takes and what it gives. I hate how it feels and how it lasts. I hate how it changes my thoughts and my moods. I hate that it takes me down. I hate that it feels like it will break me. I hate that it is a part of my life. And I really hate that there is a possibility that it always will be a part of my life. I hate it. I hate all of it.

I think depression can go jump off a cliff, without me.

How Misleading a Good Day Can Be

Today I had a really good day.

For starters, it was a nice day outside. Not too hot. No rain, and no rain expected. And almost no humidity (because humidity is my enemy right now). Just blue sky, some sunshine, and white clouds.

I had woken up early, with no alarm clock, and well-rested, for an early doctor’s appointment. And as if everything was on my schedule, I caught all the buses on time, and even got a seat, making it to the doctor’s office with time to spare. During my appointment, I had results from a couple of tests come back that were positive or normal. No bad news on the medical front. And no lectures or stern frowns from the doctor for things I should change or be careful about. Just good news to be had and I was on my way. Which was great because I needed to have bloodwork done too and then I was to meet a friend for a late breakfast.

So I got to the lab, and had my blood drawn with no issues, and I didn’t have to pee in a cup. I consider that a bonus because I hate peeing in the cup.

And just as I was done in the medical building, my friend pulled up to the side of the building to pick me up, as if she knew I was done and it was time to go eat. It was like the planets aligned and everything was in sync with my schedule. So I hopped into her SUV, and we were off for breakfast. I had such a good time with her; hanging out, talking, and laughing. It was really nice. Breakfast was good too. Cheese and pepper omelet with home fries. Yum.

After saying goodbye to my friend, I then made my way to my second appointment, again with time to spare. I was able to sit outside, have a cool drink and a bite to eat, and enjoy the nice weather. I remember noticing too that my anxiety levels were very low. I quickly scanned my body and was pleased that, nope, no anxiety was there. I didn’t even feel anxious about not having anxiety. I wasn’t calm exactly, I was just okay, neither good nor bad. And despite the rarity of the feeling I didn’t even probe around my mind to see if I was sure, or if it was okay to proceed, I just let it be as it was.

It felt good. Just enjoying the sunshine and my apple and my water. No rush. No worry thoughts. No anxiety. Just a girl sitting on a bench, watching the world go by. And then that second appointment also went well. Not as much good news as the earlier one, but still good.

And then I found myself thinking, how am I not doing more? How am I not out like this every day? Enjoying the nice weather and being outside. How am I missing all of this? How can I deprive myself of all the day can offer when I stay inside and hide? How am I not all up in everything all the time?

Ad then it hit me… of all the hows I was asking myself, how was I not remembering that not all of my days were like this? How was I not remembering that just yesterday had been a bad day? How was I not remembering that not all of my days were this good?

Somehow I had gotten so lost in the good day that I started to believe that this one day meant that every day could be like this, and that every day I would be in a good place to function, explore, and enjoy, without other obstacles, worries, or anxieties, cropping up. Somehow I had forgotten that good days didn’t happen every day, and that bad days did not outnumber the good days. Right now, bad days outnumbered the good days. It wasn’t a bad thing to believe that all days could be this good. It just wasn’t realistic. It wasn’t what I experienced every day.

Yes, some days were good, some days were even great. But some days were bad, and some days were even worse. And at some point the good days may start to outnumber the bad days. But right now, they didn’t. Right now, each day was a roll of the dice as to whether it would be a good day or not. And believing that one day dictated how all of them would be was a little shortsighted on my part.

Fortunately the reality of my experience didn’t crap out the good day that I was having. The remainder of the day stayed pretty good (relatively speaking). But it did sober me up from believing that this was an indicator of where I should be and what I should be doing. This was a good day. And that was all I needed to know.

Tomorrow might be another good day, or it might suck worse than anything. Whatever it may or may not become really didn’t matter. I had today and today was good. And whatever tomorrow would be I would just have to deal with it when it happened.

I’m glad I realized the reality before I started to have unrealistic expectations of myself…again. I’m proud of myself for not only taking in the day and leaving it at that, but also for realizing that I was getting ahead of myself, and reining in my expectations. Something I have struggled with for years.

I am often inside of a mood, good or bad, and I have a hard time seeing past it and believing that another mood is even possible. The mood, or the day, feels so concrete that believing it can change is hard to imagine. It feels so enveloping that I often forget that moods, and days, are subject to change. And having good days are just as possible as having bad days are, and vice versa. But in the moment of the day, I often miss that.

The good news is that good days are possible, and I can enjoy them, without worrying about the next day, or the day after that.

No matter what happens tomorrow I’m glad today was good. And I’m glad I was able to enjoy it. I hope that I remember again that one day doesn’t dictate how every other day will be, and that a good day can be just that, a good day. And I really hope that soon the good days will start to outnumber the bad days. For now though it’s going to have to be one day at a time.

Until next time… 🙂

There Is Nothing Wrong With Having Mental Health Issues

This past weekend brought up the conversation of mental health issues in a number of ways for me; from hearing about Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna speaking publicly about struggling with anxiety, and not feeling himself, to conversations I’ve had with family and friends. I feel like it needs to be said again, and again, that there is nothing wrong with having mental health issues. I’m going to be repeating this often throughout this post, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

I think Roberto Osuna’s decision for opening up about what he is struggling with, which is no doubt much more common in baseball, and sports in general, than is reported, was exceptionally brave. It isn’t easy to open up about something so personal and something that can be subject to judgement, criticism, and misinterpretation.

Mental health is absolutely vital to our well-being. Without it, we are open to literally falling apart. Mental health is just as important to our being able to function and cope as physical health is. In fact, there are a number of situations where mental health may be even more important than physical health.

The dozens of disorders and diagnosis that encompass mental health are never something to be taken lightly, no matter how, where, when, or why, a person finds themselves struggling with them. Whether it’s a disorder that has been a part of your life since childhood, or whether it’s something that pops into your life in later years, it is always, repeat always, something to be taken seriously. And at no time is it ever a reflection on what kind of person you are, nor does it ever mean that something is wrong with you.

Admittedly, you may need treatment, you may even need medication, but that does not mean you are broken, or flawed, or weak, or a bad person. It doesn’t mean you should be treated differently nor does it mean you should be shunned, judged, ostracized, or criticized. It means that you need help and support, encouragement and compassion, and understanding and patience for a difficult situation or period in your life. That’s really all it means, that you need help. And there is nothing, NOTHING, wrong with that.

I can understand that there are people who have not struggled with mental health issues and may not be able to fully grasp what it means but that is no excuse to treat someone with mental health issues any differently than had they been struggling with something physical that can be seen or quantified. People struggling with mental health issues are still people.

You don’t have to have mental health issues to be compassionate.

I think it’s great that the conversation of mental health is fast becoming more mainstream, and less a “closeted” discussion, saved only for professionals. With places like CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), here in Canada, CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association), also here in Canada, the annual Bell Let’s Talk campaign, and several sports and television personalities opening up about their own mental health struggles has made a HUGE impact in people starting to realize and understand that mental health is something that can affect anyone, in any capacity, or social standing, and that it is NOT something to be ashamed of.

I firmly believe that places like CAMH and CMHA are leading the fight in bringing awareness to mental health, bringing the discussion to the masses, and especially with bringing help to those in need. Addressing mental health openly has come a long way in starting to lose the stigma that has been attached to it for so long. But there is still more work to do. And it starts with us, talking to someone when we need help, and not feeling ashamed about what we are going through.

I’m not saying that you need to speak about what you might be struggling with to everyone you know and everyone you meet. It may mean only sharing it with one person, it may mean sharing it with a group of strangers at a support group, it may mean sharing it only with a professional. It isn’t about who you choose to share it with, it’s about owning that you are struggling right now with mental health issues, and that is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I’m going to repeat that, “struggling with mental health issues is NOTHING to be ashamed of.

Life is hard. Very hard. This is not new information for anyone. Sometimes trying to handle all that life throws at us, and coping with difficult situations, emotions, and difficult people can be more than just a challenge at times. It can be something that permeates your whole being, and for some, it may also mean using more destructive than constructive methods to cope. It can be something that filters down into your relationships, your work, your interests, your family and friends, and even your ability to function at a basic level. Mental illness can grip you like a vise and twist itself around you so that you feel like you can’t breathe. It doesn’t care if you have the time, or the space, or whether you’re ready or not, it can come on without warning and take you over, or take you down. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, what you do, where you work etc, you could be someone who finds themselves struggling with mental health issues just as easily as anyone else.

Mental health isn’t selective in who it affects. No exemptions or discrimination here. Mental health is an equal opportunity assailant.

I don’t want to compare mental health to physical health because I don’t think they really can be compared. The each have their own struggles, symptoms, treatments, and perspectives. But I will say that with as many differences that lie between physical/medical issues and mental health issues, there are also a number of similarities between them too. There a lot of physical illnesses or disorders that can often strike at will to whomever, whenever, without warning or cause, and mental health issues can be just as arbitrary and random in who becomes affected too. There are a number of physical/medical issues that cannot be seen just by looking at someone, and that cannot be measured with a blood test or x-ray, just like not being able to tell just by looking that someone is struggling with mental health issues.

Someone struggling with a physical/medical issue is as important to address as someone struggling with a mental health issue. One issue is not necessarily any more urgent to address than the other. Of course I understand that there are some serious medical issues that can be life-threatening and are important to treat as soon as possible, and that there are some mental health issues that are not as urgent in the moment to treat, but they are still important enough to treat, regardless.

Someone struggling with mental health issues may be able to wait a few more days for help than someone requiring urgent medical assistance, but it doesn’t mean that the person struggling with mental health issues should be dismissed or indefinitely delayed in getting treatment.

All issues that can befall us, whether physical, emotional, or mental, each have their own urgencies or not, in how and when they are addressed, but the important thing to remember is that they ALL deserve addressing.

Repeat: THEY ALL DESERVE TO BE ADDRESSED.

I would like to close this by saying to all those struggling with mental health issues, please seek help if you need it, don’t wait. And please don’t be ashamed or feel less than because you need help. Talk to someone. Share with those you trust in your own time. You don’t have anything to be ashamed of, nor do you owe anyone an explanation. You are struggling and you need help. Please remember that. You are struggling and you need help.

For those who have a loved one struggling with mental health issues I would encourage and hope that you give as much time and space to your loved one as you can for them to deal with things as they need. Be compassionate and patient. You don’t need to understand someone to be kind to them. You don’t need to have experienced it to have patience for it.

Your loved one may be struggling to live at some point, and this is NOT a weakness, nor is this something to be taken lightly. Anyone feeling like life isn’t worth living anymore should ALWAYS be taken seriously and at their word. They need help. Please do what you can to help them get help.

Most importantly, for all, please remember that there is nothing wrong with having mental health issues.

 

Afraid

 

…going through some of my self-help books has led me to feel jumbled in my thoughts and emotions. A combination of the last few months, the last few days, and the last few hours, I feel sick to my stomach. I feel like I need a rest. I need a break. A break from work, life, my thoughts, my emotions, my worries, my fears, from everything.

I feel like crying. I feel torn. I want to run. I want to scream. It feels like life is passing me by. I feel over cluttered with emotional and mental baggage and objects. I feel like I could explode. I worry that my stress will make me sick and if I were to get sick what would that teach me? If everything happens for a reason, then what will be my moment and will I see it? so many bad things happen to everyone, why wouldn’t I be one of them? how can I let go when it is only a matter of time before I am cut down by something bad? Pain is inevitable right?

If I die having let my dreams pass me by, will it really matter?

If I die having been known what will it matter. I will still be dead.

Life feels so pointless. If I go my whole life and do nothing more, will it really matter?

If I do what I believe is my dream and it turns out that I am wrong?

If I fail then I am right back where I started.

If I end up full circle will the fact that I tried really matter?

Honestly?

There’s no fulfillment in trying and failing.

There’s no peace in starting from the beginning again with nothing to show for it.

I believed that if you found your path, your destiny, that the universe conspired to help you.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

If it is true then I guess I don’t really want what I thought I did.

If what I thought was my dream, my calling, and I am wrong, then what is my destiny?

I’m crying and I’m not sure why.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid of trying.

I’m afraid of failing.

I’m afraid of being wrong.

I’m afraid of not trying.

I’m afraid of moving forward.

I’m afraid of standing still.

I’m afraid of who I am.

I’m afraid of who I am not.

I’m afraid of not knowing.

I’m afraid of being lost.

I’m afraid of being found.

I’m afraid of being alone.

I’m afraid of being close to someone.

I’m afraid of the unknown.

I’m afraid of not being seen.

I’m afraid to raise my voice.

I’m afraid of being disappointed.

I’m afraid I will disappoint.

I’m afraid I will miss something.

I’m afraid I will do it wrong.

I’m afraid I will be left out.

I’m afraid that I will be forgotten.

I’m afraid that I will be too late.

I’m afraid that it is already too late.

I’m afraid to keep it.

I’m afraid to let it go.

I’m afraid that all I know to be wrong about me will actually be true.

I’m afraid that I will deserve what I get.

I’m afraid that everything I get will be bad.

I’m afraid that I will be a statistic.

I’m afraid that I will be one of the people it happens to.

I’m afraid that “it” will be only pain and fear.

I’m afraid that any happiness will not last.

I’m afraid that any achievement will be false.

I’m afraid that any good fortune will be lost.

I’m afraid that I will always have to fight.

I’m afraid that I will lose the fight.

I’m afraid that there will never be enough.

I’m afraid that I will never be enough.

I’m afraid that I will never be somebody.

I’m afraid that I will never matter.

I’m afraid that I will be invisible.

I’m afraid that no one will listen.

I’m afraid that no one will care.

I’m afraid that I will never realize my dreams.

I’m afraid that what I know is wrong.

I’m afraid that I will always be torn.

I’m afraid that I will always be broken.

I’m afraid that I will always take more.

I’m afraid that I will always be misunderstood.

I’m afraid that no one will want to be my friend.

I’m afraid that I will never be beautiful.

I’m afraid that I will never be adored.

I’m afraid that I will always be hated.

I’m afraid that this is it.

I’m afraid to admit that this isn’t enough.

I’m afraid to admit that I want more.

I’m afraid to admit that I feel ashamed for wanting more.

I’m afraid to admit that I want better.

I’m afraid that I will hurt everyone I love.

I’m afraid that my flaws outweigh my strengths.

I’m afraid I have no strength.

I’m afraid that I will never be the best.

I’m afraid that I will be alone.

I’m afraid that I will deserve it.

I am so very afraid.

I am so very tired.

 

 

The Seriousness of Mental Health

There is a growing epidemic in our country, in our world, and it’s getting worse, while the patient waits to get better. It’s a silent one that consumes us with everything in its arsenal. The symptoms are many, overlapping, confusing, debilitating, and at times lethal.

It’s not something that can be seen on an X-ray, or traced in our blood (that I know of). Currently it can’t be tested with any current medical equipment (again… that I am aware of). But its affecting millions, killing thousands, and debilitating generations into dark places where even the most basic of functions fall to the side. It’s our mental health.

Today is World Health Day, and the focus is on Depression. I applaud their addressing of a serious condition that many out there still consider to be something to just “get over” or “move on” from. Depression can be a paralyzing situation that leads many to consider suicide, and many more to attempt it, some with success.

And the ignorance that some people have towards this serious condition is frankly ridiculous but mostly it is dangerous. Because of the millions suffering with depression who struggle to find a way to function. Some may even be able to fool you, and themselves that they are functioning, but something just doesn’t seem right. To everyone suffering and struggling with depression, whether in conjunction with another disorder, or just on its own, please reach out for help where you can. Speak up and speak out. You are not alone, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Search the internet for the closest distress centre or hospital, and please, I beg you, reach out.

Mental health is just as important, if not more so, than our physical health. It’s what moves, motivates us, and what takes us down. It will not be an easy road, and it will be a fight, but you are worth it. You deserve happiness whomever you are.

Please reach out and speak up. Even if it’s just to a friend. Let them know you’re struggling. REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Keep the conversation going because mental health is not a one day, 24-hour bug. It’s days, weeks, months, even decades long, day-to-day battle. And the more we open up the less stigma is attached to it, and the more funding comes along, the more people understand it’s not just something to “get over”, and finally the better help we can finally get to actually get better.

To everyone struggling, and anyone who just needs help, please speak up. And keep strong.