** Trigger warning – This post contains information on Mental Health and may trigger some unwanted emotions. **
It’s mental health awareness month, so I wanted to share a story with you that has happened to me only this past week that made me realize how much mental health goes unnoticed or even pushed aside.
Today I went for a Lung Function Test. During the test, I was asked to breathe into a tube at variable speeds from fast to slow to which, as you can imagine being asthmatic, resulted in me being extremely breathless and dizzy.
When I breathe out fast I cough, I always have done when I’ve had routine asthma checkups and been asked to use the peak flow. This happened when I was doing the test and the dr kept stopping the machine telling me I was breathing wrong!! After 4 or 5 tests I told him I was feeling dizzy and out of breath which he then told me was because I had poor technique so was basically my own fault.
I can’t put into words how humiliated and belittled I felt.
He also told me when I breathed out fast during the test to then slow down until my lungs were empty. Which I did. That was also wrong. He told me that I think my lungs are empty but they aren’t, I just can’t feel the breath coming out anymore so I shouldn’t take a breath when I wanted to.
All I had for a half-hour straight was a Dr stopping and starting a test telling me I was breathing too slow, too fast, didn’t have the right technique and the best was, I was breathing from my head and my throat… Enough said really.
You can’t see mental health
Little did this Dr know, but I have awful mental health conditions from PTSD to EDD and, the past month has been really tough. But that is beside the point. I left the appointment sobbing, dizzy, breathless, coughing, and all I could think about was how pathetic I was because I couldn’t even breathe right.
It resulted in me being so upset and down with myself I had suicidal thoughts again. Now it’s important to know when someone has suicidal thoughts, it doesn’t mean they want to commit suicide!! Have you ever thought to yourself “they would be so much better if I wasn’t around”?? Well, that’s a suicidal thought, but you haven’t said, “I want to kill myself”. See the difference??
Mental Health Fact – Suicide doesn’t mean I want or I’m going to kill myself.
I spent hours sobbing and breaking down to the point I couldn’t even function.
The point I’m making is that what could seem like a harmless comment to someone who looks completely fine, could end them being in a very serious situation. Words really do matter and, sometimes we judge others on how they look rather than think how they may be feeling inside.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
A quote that I disagree with on so many different levels!! Bones can heal a lot easier than your mental health can. I tell the sprogs all the time that no matter what anyone says to them, do not stoop to the level of that person and retaliate with hurtful words. As my mother likes to tell us “If they can stoop that low then you can shit on them”. Oh, I do love her one-liners!!
A few days later and I’ve calmed down. I’m not as worked up over it but it still lingers in my head. The truth is, mental health is a 24 hour, 7 days a week struggle. Some days are great, others are utter shit!! And you never really know when someone is going to come along and ruin your day.
Mrs Slee-Jones xx
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