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“Extra” Healthcare.

“What would you tell a recently diagnosed person?” is a question I received not too long ago, and one that resurfaces quite frequently. My mind quickly flashes over tubing scars, hospitalizations, horrible separations, and intense moments that left you almost searching for hidden Grey’s Anatomy cameras. How do you even sum all of these experiences up into a limited word count that could possibly help anyone who is about to be sent over the edge of that same waterfall?

Your mental health is not an accessory to your routine healthcare. It is your routine healthcare. That’s what I came up with.

With all of the changes we endure and that I have especially endured, it is known that this is the underlying highlight of all my current work. My art, my writings, and my rants. The beginning of this blog is sometimes a stark contrast into the person I developed into today, and I am working on becoming okay with that. A lot of times it is hard to not feel like I am failing on the inner workings and my attitude. About four years ago, I was at my worst and I literally could not help it. I felt as if I wanted someone to keep me sedated daily so I would stop thinking, and verbalizing exactly what I was experiencing. But as stated a million times before – years later I would find out that this was far from my control.

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It is common knowledge that mental health has been on the back burner for a very long time – globally. Mainly – in my opinion – because it is not seen and it is perceived as scary. We fear what we do not understand and for too long we have refused to truly comprehend how mental illness can actually change you. The brain is the most powerful organ in the body. Let me repeat; It is an organ, and just like any other in the body it deserves its own upkeep. With other organs failing in our bodies, and especially chronically ill patients, it becomes extremely hard to upkeep other parts of our life because we already spend so much time and money on mandatory doctors. The thing about it is that eventually your mental health will become mandatory, and by that point patients are usually suffering an exponential amount to be pushed to reaching out. I want this to stop for everyone – I want us to stop reaching a point to where we can’t take it anymore then we decide we need help. Some don’t even make it to help, and instead end their suffering and life.

Why? Because we are taught that mental health is “extra.” Literally. Extra money, extra time, boujee healthcare that we don’t make time for. Instead, from the beginning of your diagnosis this should be tagged along to all of your main appointments and requests. It is your healthcare. Take care of your most powerful organ…sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? That is my simple request, and verbalization not only for the newly diagnosed but for any of you who are progressed in your disease process. Find someone today, and it may take a couple of someones until you find the right fit. Mental healthcare is necessary healthcare.

“Mental illness is the only disease that can make you deny its own existence. Certainly the idea that the brain can deny its own illness is a frightening thought.” -Natasha Tracy

-haley.

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