Stomach bug? Or brain bug?

I read a post a few days ago that really changed my thought process, and opened my eyes to how I should treat myself when my mind is all so challenging. The said post taught me a new way of asking people how to help me: treat me like I’m sick.

You’re in bed with a migraine for the third day, hair so sloppy in what was a bun, now more of a pile of knots cus you can’t brush it without excruciating pain. You kneel over to puke for the second time because all of a sudden your migraines now cause you to upchuck from the pressure in your head. You shed tears quietly while it feels like a knife carving your skull, praying for the pain to subside.

Day one of food poisoning: you’re nonstop gagging and spitting up the remainder of bile since your meal has been up for over an hour. You feel misery, cramps and pains.

You can’t move because your body aches are so strong you can barely manage turning your body after a few hours leaning on every bony prominence. You’ve had the flu for a week now, wondering if you’ll ever live a normal life again, reminiscing the days where you could sneeze and just actually sneeze. You can’t even imagine choking down any more clear liquids because you’ve thrown every single one back.

What is it that you ask of your friends, lover and family for during all these times?

Gentle words, encouraging phrases like “get well soon”, “you’ll feel better before you know it” fill the air as do your illnesses.

In actuality, heading pads offer the calming temperature to promote comfort. Laying down and caressing the back, reading or telling a story may even help. Give me my favorite blanket, book or tv show to watch. Maybe even order some food to encourage intake. Run a hot bath, add bubbles. Play my favorite station on the radio. Take me for a ride, with no destination. Lay with me, be okay with silence. Hug me if I’m hesitating. Pull me closer when I turn around.

It’s not easy being with someone who’s mind is constantly at war with them. It’s exhausting even. But if there’s one thing I know, is you don’t give up on people you love. And you can’t give up on yourself. I know I have some bad days, but my good ones are great. It’ll be a wonderful world when we are all helpful to each other when falling under the weather and may need some extra TLC.

Remember, next time you notice someone struggling with their mental health: treat them as if they were physically ill, give them time to get better, and be a shoulder for them.


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just a girl who lives on sarcasm, compassion and emotions. trying to make my way into the life I've always dreamed of. Writing through travels in van life and travel nursing from coast to coast. Mental wellness advocator, creative writer, nomad and travel nurse here. :)

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