It was Mental Health Awareness last month, I’m a little late with my post. But it’s an important conversation to have so better late than never.
I’ve been quite open with my mental health. I spoke about my depression at my Pagoni Fashion Show last month. I take every opportunity to speak about it. To help others feel more comfortable talking about it.
I have no hesitation in sharing the fact that I’ve battled with depression, and still do to this day.
I have no hesitation in revealing that I’ve had suicidal thoughts.
I am not embarrassed to say that I am on anti-depressant medication.
Medication helps me manage my thoughts, my emotions. Medication does not alter my personality, it doesn’t take over. I still have bad days, where I feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. I still have days when I cry.
Medication does not mask or eliminate who I am. In fact, medication allows the real Kassandra to come out to play!
No, I am not weak for taking anti-depressant medication.
No, I can’t just ‘get over it’.
When you ask a friend “are you OK?” STOP and LISTEN to them. Don’t speak over them. Don’t try to ‘fix’ them. Just BE there. Just LISTEN. Your friend will feel that they are a burden to you. Your friend will feel that your time is more valuable than theirs. Let them know you love them. Let them know that you will listen to their pain.
Often during my mental health journey, all I wanted was for someone to listen to me, to just BE there with me, and not try to ‘fix’ me. It was important for me to go through that pain. It was important for me to battle my demons. Sometimes, all we need is a friend to just BE there and to listen and to love us. We can do the rest.
Unfortunately, as much as we talk about it, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness and to those who rely on medication to get by on a day-to-day basis. I am proud to speak of my mental health journey, and how I have come to respect and appreciate myself, in the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same.
Reach out to a friend today and ask them if they are OK.
Have a fabulous day my friends.