Mental Health Warriors: Naturally Toddler Approved
Welcome to my series Mental Health Warriors. Today, I would like to introduce you to Meaghan from Naturally Toddler Approved. Last week, I introduced you to
Christine from Take The Leap. You can read her personal journey here.
Mental health is an issue that needs to be talked about, no matter how difficult it might be so I put up a form on my blog asking people to share their mental health journey. I am moved by the fact these people are willing to share their stories, even though I know it isn’t easy, just to raise awareness and touch the lives of some that might really be struggling and feeling alone.
Here is Meaghan’s personal story about mental health, in her own words.
Do you deal with a mental illness?
Help me understand what it is like to live with this?
Yesterday I woke up and I felt great. I started a load of dishes, danced around my apartment, worked on my site and then all of a sudden it felt like I ran into a wall. Nothing in particular happened. I was dancing to one of my favorite songs. And it felt like my entire world crashed. I had to lay down and I cried for the rest of the night.
Have you dealt with this your whole life?
The first time I remember that crashing feeling was in 7th grade. I felt like I was going to hurt myself, though I didn’t want to, I was scared I was going to.
How old were you when you first got diagnosed or got help?
I told my mom in 7th grade my fear of hurting myself and my thoughts of how I would do it. She got me into counselors and talked with my doctor. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I was taken to a psychiatrist and placed on medication.
What are some of the survival skills that help you get through a rough day or rough period?
Binge watching a show. Even if that means I watch the same series 3 times in a row. I just watched Doctor Who for the second time, stopping after Matt Smith as the doctor this time because I wasn’t emotionally prepared to move onto the next doctor. I also didn’t want to go back to the 9th doctor because the 10th and 11th just bring me the most comfort. So here I am, starting over at season 2 and allowing myself to be sucked in.
Have you learned your triggers? Or have you learned how to spot when it is about to get bad?
Some of them, yes but I’m definitely still learning. Clutter is a trigger, loud/sudden noises are triggers, plenty of other things I’ve recognized now too.
What is something you can tell people that have family members with a mental illness? Is there anything they can do to help?
Ask them and actually pay attention. If you notice that their dishes are piling up, ask if it’d help if you did some of them. Pick up random clutter if you know where it goes. Surroundings can play a major role in mental state. Don’t get mad if they have to cancel or if they seem off their game. You may ask why and they may not answer, they may not know how to because there isn’t always a why. Don’t get mad at that. As hard as it is to understand, try to think about the panic you would feel being pulled underwater and unable to catch your breath. Sometimes that’s how we are feeling too.
Is there any specific story you would like to share?
My friend is watching Doctor Who with me for the third time. From the second season. With no complaints. He fully understands why I went back and though I’m sure he’s gotta be kind of sick of watching this, he doesn’t complain. Sometimes this is all I need. I don’t talk, I don’t do anything. But I’m not alone and I’m into my fandom that brings me comfort.
I encourage you to check out this post (and more) from Naturally Toddler Approved!
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Thank you so much, Meaghan, for sharing your story with us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10