Libby Reid Speaks Out

Sometimes it is easier to write it down than it is to speak it……

If that’s you then you aren’t the only one. It’s not weird or not “normal” to not be able to express your emotions verbally, in fact I to a certain extent find it nearly impossible sometimes, like there is a brick wall between what I am thinking and how I can convey that. That’s the problem with mental health/illness and as I have just confessed I am not the best advocate of standing up and voicing my own problems around anxiety and insecurities but in a way I am trying to say that I do struggle like many others do at some stage in their lives. That is what worries me.

What if no one ever expressed verbally how they are feeling and it all builds up in their heads until they can no longer see a way out? For me I do think it is that “she is doing that for attention” thought I dread most but if I was to tell my closest friend that I had just been diagnosed with a malignant tumour, would she say it then? The answer is no. Mental health is the same. It’s an illness of the brain, in many a life long illness. Maybe not a physical illness, in that you can’t see it destroying you, every thought, every sentence you speak but it is does affect you mentally and in some people physical symptoms may be evident. 

I miss my brother Sam and wish I could have spoken to him about how I was feeling and that he could have told me how he was feeling. I knew he was ill, living with him it was impossible not to but I didn’t realise how life was such a struggle and burden to him. Yet it amazes me how something like this, how losing my only sibling, an amazing, caring, sensitive, intelligent man with such a bright future and incredible friends, who thought no one cared about him has brought so many people forward in talking about how they are feeling and revealing that mental health was prevalent in his closest friends and even family members. It’s just no one ever said it!

Sam would hate the attention he was getting through this tragedy because he was such an introvert and private person. The thing that astounds me is that he thought he was so insignificant and I wish I could show him how many people he has touched with his story and ultimately the lives he is saving/helping.

Sometimes in life we need to stop. Take a minute from our phones, from work, even from family and have “me” time, despite how difficult it is. It is important to look after our physical health but also our mental well-being also, it is our mental state that affects everything we do: communicating, sleep, work/study, relationships and ultimately with me my relationship with God. 

People may be questioning me saying how can I worship a God that has allowed this to happen? Well, I have asked that exact question too and still have so many questions. In fact I was angry, distraught, all the emotions you can imagine with a tragedy like this. But God didn’t do this in revenge or anger, He knew my brother was in so much agony and pain, He could see him struggling each day and our family taking the impact of it all. God knew my brother’s situation and knew from the 13th December 1993 that 8th December 2017 would be his time, then on 8thDecember he allowed that suffering to end, his time had come to be in the Kingdom of heaven where he would be pain free, and no longer fighting that battle. That is not to say that all those people battling with mental health that the only way out is to commit suicide because it’s not. It was just the plan that God had for my brother and us as a family and I as a Christian need to accept that and trust that God is doing this for all the right reasons and that our futures lie in His hands and He has provided us with the strength to share my brother’s story and to try and prevent this tragedy happening to any other families.

I started writing this not really knowing what to say and wow look how long it is! It is amazing how much comes out when you really accept that you are struggling and that it is time to talk.