Ketut Subiyanto

If You Keep Ignoring Your Mental Health, You Just Might Lose Yourself

We are always encouraged to be someone or to do something in order for greatness to follow. We are encouraged to be everything for everyone. The perfect daughter/son, the perfect husband/wife, the perfect mother/father, or the perfect employee. We should always have our shit together and keep our heads high.  

In today’s world, life is moving very fast, and we can’t catch a breath. We go into machine mode, because if we stop and look, the intensity of it all might hit us like a tsunami. But then all the little signs we ignored that were a cry for help from ourselves start growing bigger and bigger. You start to become really depressed or burned out or you start having an aching body. We start to suffer, and we feel like we can’t stop it and we don’t even know how we got there in the first place.

But why did we get to this point? Why do we let this discomfort grow until it becomes an unbearable burden we don’t know how to tackle and handle? I believe it is because we don’t allow ourselves to accept that we are in fact suffering. We feel ashamed of how we are reacting. We think we should be tougher. We think we should suck it up and it will eventually get better. We ignore it because we are so mad we feel this way. We feel it is an unnecessary obstacle and a distraction. We compare ourselves to others and think we are weak. We don’t want to see ourselves as weak. We ultimately don’t want to fall behind, so we will do things even if they feel terrible because we want to be seen as reliable, strong, and successful. We want to be everything that is admired without having the basic skill of being in tune with our emotions. 

You are not like everyone else around you. You have your own circumstances, your own genetic make up, your own history, and much more. One of the biggest ways you could help yourself is to be in tune with who you are and to learn the best ways to accommodate yourself. Your thoughts and emotions will come up, and instead of ignoring them and tucking them away, own up to them and face them. It’s okay if you feel emotionally drained after going out and you don’t feel like going out with your friends the next day, even though all of them aren’t emotionally drained like you and are excited to go. It’s okay if driving makes you miserable so you’d rather take public transportation. It’s okay to want to take a break from your kids. It’s okay to feel like you want to quit jobs because your shifts are not giving you enough work-life balance. It’s okay to take breaks and to quit certain things. It doesn’t mean you are a loser. It doesn’t mean you failed. Let go of the shame that comes with it.

If you keep on ignoring it, one day you’re going to feel really broken, and that brokenness will manifest in countless ways. Trust me when I say that when you take care of your mental and emotional health, you are doing the world and yourself a huge favor. You are keeping the best version of you alive. You are doing your part. You don’t have to give in to the pressure of what everyone else is doing, because one day you might feel like you have everything but can’t enjoy anything because your soul is so, so tired. Nothing hurts more than losing yourself. Make yourself a priority. Start today.