On the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. This is an important day and we are happy that this topic is not such a big taboo as it was a couple of years ago. However, it is still something that needs way more exploration, consideration and support than there currently is.
During the past year I have seen many post and articles suggesting how you can improve your mental health, with for example workouts, eating clean, self care etc. (don't take this the wrong way, all those things are truly important), but what happens if you feel like you don't have the energy to do all that. You can't just snap your fingers. So instead of sharing some of those tips (also we are no doctors here) I would like to share my Story.
So here I am, I am Carmen. I am the third member of Pitaya and responsible for communication and some business stuff. I was always considered, and considered myself, as a positive and strong personality...let's say I was mostly looking at the bright side of life and things did not keep me down for too long. Until last year. Last year was rough. I was living in Mexico during that time and when Corona started, things became really heavy. The experience and the way people suffer from a pandemic in a developing country is different. I had several friends that needed to be treated in a hospital, and more that had family members die at home because there were no places left in the hospital. I was in constant fear and sadness to see what was going on. Besides that I was working in a Startup and since companies stopped investing many of my colleagues lost their jobs. In some cases I was the one to deliver the message. It broke my heart. My private life was not much fun either, I ended a nine year relationship (in good terms but still) and suddenly found myself living alone. I was basically on my own 24/7 for months, I never felt so lost in my life.
In July I had my first panic attack. I felt that I couldn't breathe any more and my arms became numb. For months I felt such an overwhelming sadness...I had no strength at all and most of the time I just wanted to stay in bed. I had to watch the same Netflix series over and over again just to fall asleep. Since I did not feel what I felt during this time before, I was pretty lost and had no clue of how to deal with it. It actually took me quite some time to actually realize what was going on. After months I finally opened up to a friend who was my guardian angel. She helped me find a psychologist. Trust me, going to therapy will open so many doors of exploring and getting to know yourself. There might be issues you are aware of..and there are some you might don't.
With time I started to talk about my feelings and symptoms with more of my friends and their friends..what was new to me because I usually kept my troubles to myself (i am a taurus). I found many people who were in the same place as me, all for different reasons and everyone dealt with it differently. It felt good to know I am not alone with this and talking about it (not only with my therapist) gave me a sense of relief. I am better now, but I needed to turn my life around in so many ways, making hard decisions on things that I would have never done before.
I can offer no conclusion to this story besides the fact that I learned that mental health issues come in the most different forms, that it is an overpowering feeling and there is no universal treatment. For myself the first big step was admitting it. With that you go on a journey, a very personal one, which for me went on with seeking help, talking about it and making some major changes in my life, which was and is still not easy and will be an ongoing process.
Sending you lots of love,