Mental illness is a bitch.
There is no other way to describe it. Dealing with mental illness, and physical illness, that doesn’t help matters any.
I’ve been dealing with a nagging rotator cuff injury for the last 18 months, ever since a patch of black ice dumped me into a snow bank the hard way. That event reinjured a nearly two decade old muscle injury that never did heal properly.
After a 18 months of massage therapy and chiropractic care, my recovery seemed to have plateaued, so I decided to go another direction with treatment, as it has still been bothering me a fair amount.
I saw a physiotherapist at the beginning of July, where he gave me some exercises to try to see if I can get the shoulder going.
Yesterday, I saw him for a follow up, and while the shoulder is still bothering me, there has been a significant improvement. I left the session with some more new low-stress exercises to carry on with and go back to see him in another month, with the prognosis that I should be able to regain just about 100 per cent use of the shoulder again in time.
That is something I lost hope of ten-plus years ago. Needless to say I am psyched with that sort of prognosis, I just wish my mental health issues could follow suit.
Mental illness is similar in a lot of ways to a physical injury. Both have to do with parts of the body that don’t work properly. In the case of my physical injury, it’s my rotator cuff. In the case of my mental illness, it’s my brain. Both require medications, one for a chemical imbalance, and another for pain management.
Physiotherapy is used to get the body going again after it’s been injured. Therapy can be seen in much the same way for mental illness. Both involve pain, and both require effort to resolve. Both types of issue can have flare-ups. Both types of issues can be managed though.
So, why is it more accepted in the world today for someone to rehab their body and not their brain? Why is someone going to therapy for a mental health issue looked down at, yet going to physiotherapy is totally acceptable?
I have been open about my mental health issues for years, though I have been cautioned about it as not being appropriate. Has it bit me in the ass? Sometimes, yeah, in a big way, other times, it’s been seen as no big deal.
Mental health issues are something that I have learned to deal with over the better part of the past two decades. I have struggled, and have had a tough time maintaining balance. I have had many “friends” abandon me during that time, however the friends that have stood by my side have been through the fire with me. Instead of running they brought fire hoses.
It’s because of these friends that I am open about what I deal with. I hate that this illness has cost me friends along the way, but thinking about it, if they were really friends, would they have run?]
Mental Illness is an illness. It is not an excuse. It is not a reason to be feared. It is not a reason to be looked down on. it is part of who I am, and without it, without my past trauma’s, my past struggles, I wouldn’t be me. If you don’t like who I am because of what I have dealt with, if you feel you have reason to fear me because of a diagnosis, where is the issue, with you or me? If someone has an issue with me because of an illness I have, I think that question answers itself.
Stand tall, mental illness warriors. Push for help. Push for change. Let’s all work together to help END THE STIGMA.
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