It’s my mental health anniversary.

//It’s my mental health anniversary.

It’s my anniversary! No, not the anniversary of my birth or marriage to my hubs. Not even the anniversary of me becoming a mom {or dog mom}. It is the 15th anniversary of me starting therapy services for mental health.

If you asked me even two years ago if I’d ever write a post like this, my answer would have involved a bold and determined NO. My mental health struggles were my personal business and I didn’t see need sharing them with anyone outside my tightest circles.

But here I am telling all of you about this important anniversary of my mental health. 

mental health anniversary - theCityMoms

Pictured left-right: Friend Abby and the author Liz, enjoying an evening with theCityMoms at DryBar of Indianapolis

To be honest, I was not sharing more than a need-to-know amount of details with anyone outside my therapist office and my best friend. So why share anything now? In March, news broke about a local Indiana mom whose mental health struggles caused a tragedy in her life and to her family, leading to the death of her infant. In fact this piece on post-partum OCD quickly became one of the most read posts in the history of theCityMoms.org.

So here’s what I offer you, dear readers:

  • I think it is important to have conversations about mental health, and
  • I believe “celebrating” the length of my time in therapy shows that support through mental health struggles is not something that happens in a matter of days, weeks, or months.

There are still always going to be things about my journey that I do not share with the general public {like some of the events and people I discuss with my psychologist}, or what type of medications I have or have not taken. I have become more comfortable sharing more with people, such as the diagnosis I have and how to best support me personally: I have been diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. All of these have been a different beast at different times in my life, and no two people with the same diagnosis are the same… even if they can share similar feelings at different times in their lives.


WE SHOULD ALSO BE TALKING ABOUT THIS: Your brain on baby – the mind-altering impact of motherhood.


In fact you are some of the first I’ve told about my PTSD – I think there’s a stigma that this exists only inside military situations and that’s simply untrue. I’ve never wanted to explain the situation behind this diagnosis – sharing a traumatic event can be just as damaging as when it happened the first time. Also, keeping in mind that even if I find you to be a wonderful person, you may not be on my “safe space” list. This is not me saying you aren’t someone I trust, but keeping in mind that my personal journey has caused me to limit those people that I consider “safe.”

As an individual actively-seeking mental health treatment, I have one thing to ask others when it came to mental health: Be conscious of your words. It feels like a lot of people are quick to talk or respond with their own experience when they find out someone else is struggling. And maybe this is what that person is reaching out for in the first place – support! Understanding! However, keep in mind the context in which you discovered this information. Maybe the person felt pressured to share the basic information, but has zero interest in sharing the details. Be the friend or confidante that knows when to empathize with stories and when the best way to support them is by simply listening and being present.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Liz Duvall - theCityMomsLiz Duvall is an Indianapolis native who loves outdoor concerts, craft beer, and food trucks. Liz grew up in the Glendale neighborhood but currently resides near Ben Davis with her 4 kids, husband, and dog Harley. She also serves as theCityMoms Director of Partnerships, finding fun+creative ways for our organization to connect even more into the greater Indianapolis community… And yes, her smile is just as bright in person as pictured.

Liz recently launched her new brand, The Indy Mommy. Find it on Facebook and Instagram.

2019-06-19T06:45:08-05:00June 19th, 2019|
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