No fancy article this time. Just a question: How are you, really? Are you really fine, or are you surviving?
This might seem like a cheesy question to ask, especially in an article in a beauty magazine. But during a time I had reached a bad point in life, some random person on tumblr had posted a mental health check-in, asking how people truly were feeling.
This person was a stranger, and yet because it was written, and I could hide behind the screen to answer, it was enough to make me burst into tears and realize that I wasn’t okay. I was parading around behind a mask of numbness, convincing myself that my feelings would fix themselves if I ignored them long enough.
Thanks to this one random post, I took the first steps I needed to recognising I needed help and support.
I bolstered up my courage to open up to a friend, and she cried with me, thankful I was getting the help I needed so she could see me happier again.
How you go about getting help will differ by person. Sometimes, talking to friends or family about it is enough. Sometimes getting therapy and medication is needed. Perhaps stepping back from university classes might be needed. However works best for you, your mental health must be a priority. Nothing else can flourish properly if your mind can barely stay alive.
So, how are you, really?
Are you feeling fine, or are you just barely surviving? Is saying “I’m fine” just pretending the problem will go away?
If you need help, here are some resources outside of talking to family and friends.
The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273- 8255 for an extreme emergency. If you are LGBT and need special care for those issues, the Trevor Project suicide hotline is 1-866-488-7386.
Most universities, colleges, and community colleges have mental health resources available for free, including counseling and prescriptions for needed medications. Online therapy has also increased in drastic amounts since the pandemic began if you are shy in person. There are amazing books available for altering your mindset.
This one may sound silly, but find a local animal shelter or pet cafe in your area. Take the time to visit and spend time with the animals. It will make their days better, and it will at least provide a temporary slice of happiness in your day to help you cope. I know it did for me.
And remember that people are here to help you.
It might feel humiliating to ask for help and be vulnerable to people, especially if your own family is not available, but there is no judgement. I can promise that as a stranger who has listened to other strangers’ problems. We care. People want you to be happy, even if they are strangers.