Lifestyle blogger Simi Bammi speaks to LSLCS about her experiences with mental health. She posts photos on Instagram coupled with self-care tips for your physical and mental wellbeing. Below she shares her views on mental health and her own experiences, and the things she’s learned in life. Check out her blog on Instagram @throwmetheblanket
Mental health. What does it mean to you? Does it sound happy? Does it sound bad? I think that when we say mental health we mean one thing, but you can take it two ways. Let me explain. To me, mental health is the state of your mind, so to say. However, to some people it may ring a bad vibe because their mental health may not be so good, whereas someone else who’s fit and well, may think of mental health as something good, because, well, they feel good. None of them are wrong, it’s individual to the person. I want to talk to you about my mental health, and how it manifests into something dark, and how I get out of that darkness.
I believe I started falling into “sadness” my second year of college. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how. And if you don’t know how yours came about too, that’s fine. I guess it could have been a mix of things – losing friends, arguing with people, dealing with a very personal loss, feeling isolated and so on. I eventually went to the doctors because I was SO sad. Crying non-stop, feeling sensitive and overwhelmed constantly. The doctors diagnosed me with depression, and later on anxiety. Okay cool… now what? Well currently, I’ve tried everything under the sun. I’m talking multiple different types of medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, CBD, and so… much… more.
My depression got worse and worse. What was once this super bubbly and loud person ended up becoming someone who’s anxiety-ridden, guilt-ridden, sensitive, who constantly feels lonely, someone who breaks down for no reason, someone who says, “I cant” A LOT. And it just happened. It happened over multiple days and months and years until I couldn’t really remember what it was to be actually happy again.
So, what do I do to help in times of extreme sadness? Now, first of all, I call them “down moods” or “low moods”, so, when I’m in a down mood, there’s a few things I do. I watch films! Films and series and videos and documentaries. Ever felt like TV brings you away from your own life and into someone else’s? Yeah, me too. I immerse myself into a new series or a tense film. Some people prefer music and that’s fine too! However I find music makes you live your own life and TV makes you live someone else’s… I’ll distract myself as much as I can from those horrible thoughts I get. You’re probably all nodding right now like, “Yesss I get them too!” Amen! None of us are alone! It’s also important to remember that. At your low moments you’ll feel all sorts of things. Lonely, depressed, isolated, like EVERYONE is out to get you, or maybe how NOBODY understands. You may have flash backs, you may think just horrible things that make you physically sick but you can’t help them, and THAT’S okay, I promise you.
The best advice I can give to someone going through mental health, whether that be depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, anything at all, is to distract yourself. If you don’t have any friends because somehow they’ve all kind of left, try your best and make some new ones, or even just one so you have one person to speak to and rant your heart away! And… breathe. Go outside or open a window if you need to, stick your head outside, in through the nose and out through mouth. Everything is going to be okay. You’re not abnormal, you’re not ugly or fat or weird or crazy for feeling the way you do! You’re beautiful, smart, and hey, you’re lucky, don’t feel it? Well you are, more than a looot of people.
I’m going to tell you a quick story, I promise I’ll try be quick. So, one day, there was this boy. This boy was soo stressed. He was failing his exams which meant his parents were going to be so disappointed with him, and he probably wouldn’t get into the college he wanted to. His girlfriend just left him and he just feels lost and alone. Now one day, he was walking down the market aisles in his small village, where he sees an old man, sitting on the floor with his legs crossed and eyes closed. And behind him, was a big tree, with loads of strings and paper attached. He was curious, so he said, “Excuse me. What is all this?” The man opened his eyes and looked at this boy and replied, “This is your opportunity. Many girls and boys come to this tree everyday and get rid of their problems.” The boy looks at this man confused but also so intrigued! “How do I do it?” the boy asks. “Take one of these pieces of paper, and take this pen. Write down everything bad that’s happening in your life right now, and hang it on the tree. But, you have to take somebody else’s paper in return without looking.” The boy immediately got the pen and paper and wrote down everything he was stressed about and tied it up on the tree. He looked around and saw one paper that caught his eye, a light blue one. The man nodded his head and smiled at the boy as he walked away with this paper. The boy opened up the paper and started to read through everything. His eyes widened and suddenly he stopped in his tracks. He ran back to the old man and begged to swap this paper back for his own. The old man laughed and let him. The boy was so relieved he thanked the man.
I bet you’re wandering what was on the paper? The paper the boy picked up read, “I have an incurable disease and I only have 4 weeks left.” No matter how big, and crazy your problems seem at the time, look at the bigger picture and realise, actually, in some ways, you might be lucky.