Welcome to the next stop on this month’s OWLS blog tour, if you are following along this month you would have already read the wonderful post from Mel! It has been a while since I last took part in an Owl’s blog tour, and I missed taking part in the tours I really did. So to my new followers who may not know about OWLS we are a group of bloggers who do monthly blog tours where we all write posts based around a monthly theme. OWLS bloggers work hard on these posts to share positivity and acceptance to everyone no matter where you are from or who you are whether that be gender, sexuality or religion. We love to share positivity with the blogging community through our shared love of pop culture. This month’s theme is one that has hit close to home for me and as soon as I found out what it was I knew exactly what the subject for my post would be and which wonderful yaoi manga I wanted to write about. This month’s theme for the blog tour is “Self-Care”.
In favor of positivity and good mental health, we will be exploring the importance of self-care. Sometimes, we are lost in our thoughts and emotions that it can cause a negative impact on our lifestyle and our relationships. For this month’s topic, the OWLS bloggers will be exploring the mental health of pop culture characters and how their mental health affects their environments. We will explore the dangers of mental health illnesses and how it might lead to self-destruction and/or how one has the power to overcome their demons. In addition, we will share our personal stories and struggles about mental health and discuss positive ways in handling mental health issues.
I have chosen to write a post inspired by the yaoi manga hit, Ten Count as such there will be minor spoilers within this post for the first few chapters of the manga. Other than those first few chapters there will not be any spoilers for the series. I will go into more depth for the manga when I review it.
Even in this modern day and age mental illness can hold a harsh stigma for many people. Yes, it is not as bad overall as it once was. In the mind of someone who suffers from any kind of mental illness, it can still make them feel like a pariah. Even if those around them do not see a person that way. Perception is reality and if this is how they believe the world sees them and the sad fact is that they believe it to be so and because of this they will do everything in their power to hide their mental illness from those around them, and this can include avoiding getting treatment. This is because even though someone might be suffering internally they do not want to be a bother to anyone around them, they have found their ‘comfortable place’ in life. They are suffering but (in their mind at least) they are not causing any suffering for those around them so in their own world that is ok, but it is truly not ok a single moment or bad circumstance can rip that comfortable place away from a person. This is the position we find Shirotani Tadaomi in at the beginning of Ten Count.
Shirotani suffers from obsessive-compulsive-disorder that has manifested itself into mysophobia, though you might know this better as germaphobia. Everything around Shirotani is dirty and he hates it, but he has a career as a corporate secretary and has his own way of doing his job that keeps him happy as well as those around him. Others might see him as strange but he works hard not to bring attention to himself and as long as it does not affect anyone else he knows he can just cope with it. Even if his hands are a mess of wounds and cuts from constantly washing them with alcohol, it’s ok he will just cover those horrid hands with gloves. But won’t wearing gloves all the time draw attention? Well, that’s ok, whenever he goes out he wears a suit and the gloves don’t look out of place when he wears it. As long as nothing breaks his status quo he can go on living like this, but life is not that simple. It never is.
An accident one-day involving Shirotani’s boss changes everything. He is put in a situation where the only way to save his boss is to touch him and he can not bear to do it and so watches on in horror, lucky for him someone else comes along and saves his boss. The whole situation, however, frightens Shirotani but he still even then does not want to reach out for help. The hero who saved Shirotani’s boss, however, turns out to be someone who recognizes Shirotani’s condition and offers to help him.
Whether it is asking for help or accepting help when it is offered can be one of the most difficult questions when dealing with mental illness, believe me I know. I have grown up with ADHD which I was diagnosed with at a young age. I know those looks that people fear because I have been seeing them all my life. Those looks of…
‘Oh they are strange’
‘What is wrong with them?’
‘Why can’t they be normal like everyone else?’
‘Are you an idiot?
‘How do you not know that at your age?’
Hell, I have even had those questions going around constantly in my head at night while I lie in bed finding it difficult to fall asleep, trouble with regulating sleep is a common side effect of having ADHD that not many people know of. So I got to the point that when I met new people I would not tell them, even when it came to starting new jobs. Hiding this, in the long run, did not help me because I began to get a reputation of being unreliable. I was reluctant to reach out for help because when I was ‘helped’ when I was younger all that was done is I was put on medication that zonked me out. I don’t regret being on meds when I was younger because they did help, but when I reached the age that I could make my own decisions based on my treatment my first decision was to go off those meds because I did not like how they made me feel numb to the world.
I wanted so badly to ‘fix’ myself at least in the eyes of those around me. I did my own research into ADHD and learned how to control certain aspects through diet and exercise and I took control, but every time life threw me a speed bump my status quo would shatter and I would find myself spiraling. Recently I hit one of the hardest speed bumps I have ever hit in my life and I bottled it up because I did not want those around me to worry. I did not want to be a burden to those around me and over time those feelings grew into something very dark that began to scare me more than I had ever been scared in my life. My anxiety skyrocketed and at a moment of weakness I reached out to family and loved ones and I finally asked for help. It was not an overnight fix and is still ongoing but as I learned as I began to get help for myself and to help myself I came to realize that self-help was not a selfish endeavor because it has improved my relationships with those around me. Helping yourself can greatly help those around you that you care about because if those around you that love and care about you see you suffering then they suffer too. This is why it is ok to ask to help and if it is offered it is ok to say yes.
I hope you enjoyed my post for this months blog tour, next up we have Marina from Anime B&B and I look forward to reading their post!