Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. Over the years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has observed today with the goal of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. Because it was World Mental Health Day, I wanted to publish this post yesterday but I managed to talk myself out it. I’m beginning to think that’s what I do best.
September was a hard month for me. I scratched the surface in my recent post about dealing with disappointment but to be honest, the contents on the ticker tape of thoughts that continuously ran in my head were taking me to a dark place. And there were times that the constant ticking noise becomes overwhelming and impossible to drown out with healthier and more positive thoughts. Tick. Tick. Tick-tick-tick. Tick. During one particular bad episode, I tried to awkwardly explain through tears to my amazing husband about the onslaught of self-loathing thoughts that were coming at me like 65 mph softballs from a machine that I just.couldn’t.turn.off. Not for lack of trying on his part – but I’m not sure he fully understands.
I spent a lot of September inside my own head and crying in the shower. And for the first time – I felt scared that I wouldn’t be able to emerge from inside the batting cage on my own. No matter how hard or fast I managed to swing the bat, I could not make contact with those horrible, negative, and debilitating thoughts. I still have yet to talk to a professional. Probably because I somehow figured out a way to turn off the pitching machine before the month’s end but I know it is only a matter of time before I will find myself putting on my helmet again and reaching for an aluminum bat.
So in honor of World Mental Health Day, I’d like to say, hello. My name is Karen and I am trying to make sense of a life that no longer feels invincible. I spent my twenties believing that a positive attitude was enough and now that I am quite settled into my thirties, I am learning that life is a little more nuanced than I originally thought. I am also learning that is okay to not be okay sometimes.