Why I'm Still Finding it Hard to Talk About Mental Health | Let's Talk

a girl with blonde hair, blue eyeshadow and cat eyeliner looking at the camera, shocked, with a selection of feature frames behind her, on a turquoise wall behind the girl. The girl is francesca sophia
I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer: I think talking about mental health is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your own self-care. I think being able to talk about how you're feeling is so so important, and I definitely would love to be able to be more open and honest about it.

I know what you're thinking: girl, haven't you shared a post on this very blog about your mental health? And again, about your #MeToo story? But bear with me on this one.

I got treatment; got medication; went to therapy; I told my close friends what was going on...and I have to admit, I kind of thought that was it. I'd done all the brave stuff and now I could sit back and look after myself.
And, theoretically, that is the case, for the most part.

I have good friends, a supportive family, a boyfriend who empathises, whether they have been through mental health issues or not. I am on the right medication (I hope!), finally.

But there's a heck of a lot more that comes after that.
Having a crappy, anxiety-prone, self-hating day at work isn't something I have ever been able to explain to my boss. If I can't make an appointment to meet my fella's family, I can't explain that I can't even get out of bed that day. If an acquaintance, an old school friend, a new blogging pal, wants to meet up, and I get so anxious that I end up having a panic attack on the tube, I don't want to admit that.

Why?
Because it's scary. Because I'm still afraid of getting the reaction I got in secondary school 'Fran, you can only come if you won't act so...depressed'. I'm scared of being 'let go' from another job and constantly blaming my anxiety, my change of medication. I'm scared of being judged, or having someone think I'm less capable because of my mental health.
Is that necessarily realistic? Is everyone going to think that? No. Probably, no one in my life would - whether in a work or a social environment - but the fear stops me, anyway.

Maybe one day, mental health will be something openly discussed; until then, I'm going to keep trying to be more honest about mine.

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