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I’m Fine – by Ladell Smith

I’m fine.

How many times did I say this when I really wasn’t fine? How many times did I want to scream for help but I didn’t know what to ask for or what was wrong with me? How many times did I just keep silent because the stigma on mental health is so bad that I was worried about how I would be looked down on?

It took my grandad dying, me getting diagnosed with multiple health issues, to putting a pause on my life to know that maybe I wasn’t fine?

From then I think my body and mind just decided, Ladell, it’s time to rest and take time for you. I had a lot of breakdowns. Which at the time, was hard. Super hard. Like you feel like the world is crashing down on you and you have literally no one to turn to and no matter what you say no one will listen as you were once the life of the party? How can the life of the party become sad? 

I will always say this but this is where I became super grateful to the Destiny 2 community and game as I didn’t leave my room for weeks, talk to anyone, unless you were part of that community.  

As a quick TL;DR from having one breakdown, entering first lockdown, I realised I wanted to do more with games so I entered the Limit Break mentorship program, and got a job in games. 

I realised I can’t keep saying ‘I’m Fine’ all the time, and I started realising that I was also people pleasing which was hurting me so much more. I’m a yes person. Wait let me correct myself, I was a yes person. The first time I said “No” to something that I actually didn’t want to go to, the guilt fully tore me up but when the moment passed, the relief afterwards, actually outweighed it. 

I started putting myself (slowly) at the centre of my life and it definitely takes time, but I started becoming happier with myself.  Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t work in a month, I mean it’s been 4 or 5 years now and I am still opening up who I am. It is never an easy step, but just know that you will get there eventually.

Ladell and their Grandad

Tips for when you’re not fine

Please note that these will not work for everyone 

  • Stock up on bottled water
    As I had a tendency not to move from my bed a lot, I bought bottled water to keep in my bedroom so that at least I would not be dehydrated and it also forced movement…
  • Buy easy food
    In my freezer I have microwaveable rice and veg. I then bulk buy noodles from Amazon so that when I am in a low energy state, I can still eat somewhat normal food without getting takeaways (cost of living). Also they are really easy to digest and clean up. Having plain foods when my depression hits helps a lot. 
  • Buying disposable toothbrushes for the days when getting to the bathroom is just too much
    Like, again, so many days when I was unable to move from my bed so having disposable toothbrushes helped 
  • If you have an Alexa/Google device, set it up as its your bestie
    My Alexa is my best friend. When I have good mental health days, I am able to set up routines for the bad days, such as simple reminders like, Brush teeth, take a drink of water if I cough, turn my lights off if I start to snore and timers for when I say get up… because no one gets up at the first alarm. Do they!?

Am I truly fine now?

No. But, I can happily tell you that I like the way I’m going. Who said that you have to be fine all the time anyway?