By Christine Parsons
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Life is hard. Going through #depression, #anxiety and #PTSD make it harder. But the roughest part is feeling like you are alone while going through these struggles.
We have gotten so good at trekking through life independently, at putting our heads down and looking at our smartphones. We have gotten so good at not talking to each other anymore. Why do we go through the battles of #mentalhealth solo? Why do we lie about what we are truly feeling and with a smile say, “I’m fine” and “I’m okay” when we are not?
Maybe saying these phrases is easier or comes more naturally. Maybe we think: I do not need mental help from a friend or family member. I do not need them to know all my disappointments because then I am a burden. Others do not need to know the truth of how I am feeling and what I’m going through.
Looking up means facing your struggles head on, which takes so much energy, strength and courage. Exhaustion can set in. You want to lay down and not get up. You do not want to do anything or see anyone. Action is the last thing on your mind. I get it. You want to forget. You want to be alone. You don’t want to tell anyone. You don’t want to be a burden.
But this is what makes life so hard — we look down when we need love and support the most. We should not go through life, or our struggles, alone.
I am not saying #depression will go away once you look up and acknowledge your feelings. I am not saying your #anxiety will lessen every time you face your fears. I am not saying your #PTSD will disappear overnight if you just reach out to someone. But when you are feeling alone, it can be very helpful knowing there is someone who knows exactly what you are going through.
Let’s put down the lies and be honest about our how we are doing. Let’s be honest about how we are feeling. Let’s be honest with others about the hardships we are experiencing.
Let’s take all that we have in our very full buckets and speak out. It’s okay to cry and to be vulnerable. No one has to face their battles alone. No one has to face life looking down. Chances are, others are going through something similar, too.
We are human and imperfect. We all make mistakes and have flaws. We all struggle. But having someone by your side can make a world of difference. You just have to remember to look up.
Christine Parsons lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her husband of 10 years and two small children. She has been deaf since birth, is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid. Christine has severe #depression disorder, #anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder and has been hospitalized seven times since July 2018. She is a survivor of failed #suicidal attempts.