Hiya everyone, I know that Brains on Wheels is meant to be positive and up-beat, but I want to show people that they're not alone.... Every aspect of heath is important, even if it's not physical health. Yes, I'm talking about the 'M' word. We shy away from talking about mental health a lot, even more than talking about disabilities; my guess is this is because some people feel ashamed to talk about or admit that they know about mental illness and health for fear of being judged, laughed at or belittled.
This is the first time that I've mentioned this on my blog because I didn't want to seem like a burden or a fake. My anxiety is sky-high because I'm writing this post, but I can do it!
I always try to keep other people happy, and I do this to help them and hide away from my own issues, I have always been a positive person, and to this day I try my best to keep myself positive, but unfortunately that is not as easy as it used to be. As I've got older, I have realised that most people my age go out with their friends and they do a lot more than I do. I just don't feel like a twenty-one year old. This makes me feel as though I should be doing more. It makes me angry and depressed because lots of people try to persuade me to do things and I just can't see a way to do them, or I get myself so aeriated and frustrated.
Since I have got older, I think my mood has changed a lot because I used to be extremely bubbly and happy, but now that I've realised how much my disability affects my life and the things that I want to do. I feel it also affects my family a lot in two different ways...
Number one: My family can't leave me on my own for long periods of time, which determines when they can work - my mum can't work when my dad is at work, and even though my dad works part-time, my dad can't go out when my mum is working.
Number two: Although we could get carers in for when mum and dad are working, there is another aspect that gets in the way, which is money: Carer's Allowance. Carer's Allowance is money that is payed into the bank account of a main carer of a disabled/elderly person who the carer cares for. When you receive Carer's Allowance, you are not allowed to earn over a specific amount within a month. My mum is my main carer, so she receives it. Carer's Allowance is not much in the grand scheme of things, but my family can't really afford to stop getting it because the amount my mum will earn by working extra hours will not cover the Carer's Allowance, so she has to keep an eye on the hours she works.
I really do try to be happy because I have to make the most of what I have and I always think that there are always people who are worse off than I am. Plus, if I didn't have a disability, I probably wouldn't have met the people who matter the most to me because I would have gone to different schools, and I probably wouldn't have started campaigning, I probably wouldn't have so much strength and will-power and I doubt it very much if I would have this blog if I didn't have Cerebral Palsy... So in these ways, I am thankful, so it's not all bad, it's just a pain in the butt at times.
Another thing that affects my mental health is the fact that I can't go out with my friends much. Yes, I have carers that take me out, but there isn't anything spontaneous about it because it has to be planned. I can't just decide that I'm going out. This is definitely a factor that affects my mental health because I am constantly worried that I am going to lose friends because I think that the reason why I lost most of my friends who I met at school is due to not seeing them after I left school. I am absolutely terrified that this will happen again when I leave college. I really don't want to lose them because they mean the world to me, and I love them to bits!
Anyway, I felt like I kept that in for way too long, so I'm glad that I finally plucked up the courage to write this! I know that I should never be afraid to write on my own blog, but I was. I hope someone reads this and it reminds them that there is always support out there, and I know because I have had support from a counsellor, and he does help me through.
Thank you for reading, and remember, there is always someone to help, and I know it's easier said than done, but if you are struggling, please TALK to someone!
Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org
MIND - https://www.mind.org.uk