This is Mental Health Awareness Week – a nominated week when we are encouraged to both think and talk about our mental health. I am very aware of my own mental health as I tend to be one of two extremes : I am either happy and full of energy, as I am at the moment – thankfully – or I am depressed, lacking in energy and self confidence. I do not vary much from day to day, but I will have at least a year in one state and then that is followed by a similar period in the opposite phase, making me rather like Jekyll and Hyde. People who know me well will be anxious about my mental health as things are hectic at the moment, with work, home and Mum being in hospital and now receiving treatment. I keep being warned to take care of myself or not to overdo things and I was also told that I was doing too much.
I know that these comments are well-intentioned and I know that they are simply worried that I might trip over into the next phase of my mental state. But in many ways, I am fortunate that this busy time has fallen when I have the energy to respond to the challenges that I am facing and when I am able to multi-task, as that is another of my abilities that I lose when I am low.
I know myself well know, after years of dealing with these highs and lows, and I am resigned to riding the roller-coaster and of making the most of each phase. I try to protect my mental health by talking about it and by resting when I need to. I have learnt over the years that I cannot control the change of my mental state; so logically it would make sense for my brain to react when it is under pressure, as it is now, when there is so much on my mind. But it does not seem to work that way, in fact it will probably survive these assaults, then something insignificant might just tip me into a new darker phase. I am not waiting for it to happen, I am always hopeful that I have put my depression behind me once and for all, by changes that I have made in my life, but if it does come ,I know that it will not last forever and I know how to deal with it.
But in the meantime, I am grateful for the extra energy, confidence and clear thinking that come with my feeling good, as they are all proving to be really helpful at the moment. Who knows what is around the corner, but for now, I am making the most of my super powers.