Mental Illness Is Real, But So Is Overcoming It!

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Mental Illness Is Real, But So Is Overcoming It!

In honour of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, our Biz X Blogger has written this column in hopes that it helps save a life and provide words of encouragement for anyone dealing with mental health issues.

Those who know me, know that I am a big believer in mental health. Our mental health, in addition to our physical health, is very important for a positive and productive life. Without it we are irritable, dismayed and have feelings of hopelessness.

Somewhere around the world there is someone who feels lonely.
Somewhere around the world there is someone who is feeling unloved.
Somewhere around the world there are people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Suicide has always been a very touchy subject. Some people shy away from talking about it, but I believe we need to talk about it.

Just because we try to avoid it, does not mean that it is not happening. It happens every day.
We are not able to be in many places at once to try to save everyone, but there are things we can do to help save someone.

Remember, Superman saves people from burning buildings, but kindness saves people’s lives.
Every human being in this world matters. Every life matters.

There are tips I want you to remember that I use every day, to ensure I am doing the right thing.

I will take K for Kindness, Alex
Everything we do in our life, do it with kindness. I can never imagine how guilty I would feel if I was responsible for hurting someone’s feelings. However, there are some who hurt people and might not care because they are not on the receiving end. But, the person who is, has to live with these hurtful actions caused by that person. When you are about to hurt someone, I want you to bring Mindfulness to the table.

Imagine how we would feel if someone says something hurtful to us. Chances are we might not like it. Mindfulness helps us think twice about saying anything unkind.

If you are upset or angry at someone, walk out and cool down. You might be saying something hurtful due to your emotions, and that can cause long term damage.

Being kind is the most sincere and sweetest form of helping someone. Everyone feels happy in the process.
Why are we against this happiness?
Why hurt?
Why bully?
Why hate?
Why fight?
Why judge?

Nothing good ever comes out of this. We just fuel the fire of negativity. Let’s fuel positivity instead. Positivity leads to positive changes.

Ignoring for no reason is unkind
I have seen so many people on social media who are being ignored. I always try to fill that gap that people pass by. When someone is seeking help and are ignored they are going to have dark thoughts like:

  • Maybe they are not wanted.
  • Maybe they are not needed in this world.

We just can’t ignore someone who needs our help

I once had a girl on my Instagram write: why do I find it difficult to respond to her?

I told her that I am not always on social media and she understood.

However, if she asked that question and I ignored it, then it may or may have caused hurt that I did not want to be responsible for.

I want to be responsible for making people smile, giving people hope and making them feel that they matter, because they do.

It is the purest form of happiness for me.

If someone means well or has no ill intentions by asking how you are, then please respond to them, or if you are on social media do it as soon as you can.

Just be there
If you know someone dealing with depression, just be there for him/her. Knowing that you came over or spoke to them on the phone, when others did not acknowledge them, shows them you care. And when people feel cared for, they find hope that angels like you exist.

Asking someone if they have suicidal thoughts does not trigger suicide, as many think.
It opens communication between you and the person who is struggling.

To get inside a person’s mind you need to build trust. And the last thing you want to do is judge them and tell them “Get over it” or “You are not depressed.” By doing this, you are inadvertently telling them their feelings are not valid, when they are the most valid and real.

People with mental illness are not attention seekers. They just need love and kindness. It is our duty to provide that.

Some effective and beautiful words you can say to someone with mental illness are: “I am here for you.” “I love you so very much.” “We are going to get through this.” “You are not alone, ever.”

Appreciate their existence and let them be aware of their strength and perseverance. Show them importance and be gentle with them.

Everyone is different and reacts differently, but the most important thing to remember is Kindness will never steer you wrong when you are trying to help someone.

It breaks my heart and upsets me when people have quit too soon. Hope feels like it does not exist – but it does.

For anyone struggling, remember, every single morning that you open your eyes you have another chance to change your thoughts, to change your actions, and to change your life. Remove yourself from the negative past that has caused you sadness. Why would you want to hold on to it, when you deserve all the peace and happiness in the world?

The negative past is gone. Don’t let it pull you back there because you will not gain anything from that. Positivity starts when you decide to start. Our life can change anytime it wants.

You are not going to give up. You have been fighting the fight for so long – and that already makes you a fighter. SO what do fighters do? THEY FIGHT ON.

Help is available 24/7.

You have come too far to give up; you have lived too many years to let it all go to waste. You need to remember just how much of an inspiration you are. You are teaching people the meaning of strength courage and perseverance.

You are going to, not only continue, but I believe one day you are going to be an advocate of mental health and inspire others to never give up.

I want you to put your hand out and there will be thousands of hands that will reach back. I need you to take that first step on your path to overcoming whatever you are going through. Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but it is not going to break you. You have already come so far and are still standing strong, in one piece.

There are people who are willing to help you, but you have to make that decision to reach out. Talk to someone you trust who can help you alleviate some of the burden you are going through. Talking it out is very therapeutic, because it makes you feel that you are not alone. And the truth is you will never be alone. So many people are struggling, just like you.

Do not feel ashamed

Mental illness does not change the wonderful person you are. It is the burden, not you.
Be You
Never wish to be someone else. You are a wonderful creation who is talented, gifted, and kind. There is only ONE YOU. Embrace it!

DO NOT FEAR ANYTHING
Irrational fear keeps you stuck. Courage forms greatness. Do not over-think anything. Over-thinking makes a mountain out of a molehill. Just don’t think about it and go for it. Whatever you are trying to do to make progress in your life, then do it.

YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY, TOO
Whatever you are going through, you will overcome it. Nothing will bring you down and nothing can stop you. You are strong. You are loved, valued, worthy, and important. Your focus should be what makes your heart smile every day.

GOALS
I love goals. Goals give us meaning, purposes, and a reason to get up in the morning with positive intentions. Look for something that is challenging and keeps you focused on attaining it. Do not focus on the left or right side. Your eyes need to be on that prize. I believe in you, but you must believe you can accomplish and achieve anything. A positive mindset brings positive results. Know your strengths. And remember, positive progress is positive happiness.
You have a calling, you have a purpose and you have so much love to give, just as much as so many who love you.
God bless you and never give up.

Sincerely, Danny Gautama (The Fighter)

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing suicide thoughts, you are loved and help is available by contacting the following . . .

  • Police emergency: 911
  • Canadian Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566
  • Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Community Crisis Centre: 519-973-4435
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor Essex County: 519-255-7440
  • Mental Health Connections: 519-256-4854

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Danny Gautama has been in the fitness industry over 25 years and is a local author. He writes inspirational and motivational articles for mental health organizations after overcoming his own struggles. In addition to Biz X magazine, he also has been a guest blogger for Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, EmotionallyNaked.com and was featured in the Windsor Star. He currently lives in Windsor and is working on an inspirational book. Reach him by emailing: [email protected]