The one with the good cry: mental health & brain injury
Written in summer...
Today I cried because I feel shitty. I generally feel shitty now days but if I feel ok enough to enjoy friends, family, and even healthcare workers, I call that a win.
It might only be one hour or even four, but for the most part--people pump up my jam.
Nature does that too. I love plants and green things. My happy place year-round is the Como Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul.
So, back to crying. Experiencing all of my symptoms at once, or doing an activity while many of my symptoms are present will do this. I cry when I can't handle a transition, am frustrated, or am multitasking. This is a perfect example: working on my website and my dad asking me questions about disability paperwork and having a phone call with a friend scheduled in an hour. *I learned a lot that day about my cognitive deficits. My parents and I are getting really good at recognizing them and being mindful--read: as stress free as possible, but some things you can't avoid.
So as I write this my jaw is killing me (trigeminal neuralgia), loud ringing in my ears (tinnitus), my neck hurts, random nerve pain on all areas of my body, I'm nauseous, and I'm exhausted--like a heavy blanket is draped over my head and body. This is too much, but keeping my mind occupied as much as I can is the only way sometimes to get through.
That, and crying.
Sometimes you just can't take it. Sometimes you cry because punching a pillow is too much work. Sometimes you think WTF, is this real life?
But the catharsis that comes afterwards is 100% real. If you don't feel this after a crying spell, you aren't finished. I really believe that.
Two days later
...and I haven't finished. I'm crying at the drop of a hat, it's all so...overwhelming. PT OT and Speech therapies are ending, nice weather is here, and I still feel like shit! WTH?
I had this same overwhelm in November 2016 when we decided to look for housing. I was sure I'd be back to work by then, and had (still do sometimes) a hard time understanding this. Is it the shock of it still? The cognitive deficits? The denial? The Shining?
Well it wasn't that last one, though it was very scary like the others...
I'm just glad I have a professional to talk to. It's so important you guys! I'm convinced that regardless of your support system (either awesome, or not so much), an extra set of eyes and ears is a huge help for whatever you are facing.
- Mental health is super-dee-duper important! Find a counselor/psychologist to talk to. Whether it's a brain injury, trauma, chronic illness, or straight-up dealing with life: I don't think it's ever a bad idea.
- Cry it out, yell it out, dance it out. Do whatever brings you back to peace. I know my invisible BFF well, but the rough mental health periods still sneak up on me. The most important thing is letting it out/facing it head on. I don't have the luxury anymore of holding it in; and I'm beginning to think that's a good thing.
- Mental health is uncomfortable to talk about. Period. It's personal. Period. It's vital we bring awareness to it. Period.
If this resonated with you, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on mental health.
Ps: new to my website? Start Here.
Pps: Need support & upliftment from other fun invisible & chronic illness/disability peeps who get it? join our closed invisible/chronic illness FB group here