After writing the first sentence then consequentially deleting it time after time, I thought about how I should talk about my own struggles with mental health. While each person’s journey is different with mental health, mine has been one I have dealt from when I was very young. I can think back to when I was a young kid and would ask the universe why am I here, it would be so easier if I was not. I felt like I was complicating the lives of those around me, that I constantly had to prove and stand up for myself when no one was. I was told by dad to not express my emotions, that how I thought was invalid and would never be enough.
After years of living in a toxic, unhealthy environment growing up I decided to stand up for myself, only to feel yet again like I was the perpetrator, not once have I felt listened to and that was hard. Unfourtunately, this parental relationship led me to feeling depressed, suicidal at points. And when one of my close friends tried to take their own life, and I expressed how I felt pain for this friend and was beyond heartbroken over this situation, I was told yet again to not express my emotions and that one taking their own life is the easy way out. While there are many experiences I can speak to with my mental health, I feel it is not my place to spew that out to you, the person reading this. I feel many of our mental health struggles come from the relationships we have with those close to us, or experiencing something traumatic. We all process trauma different, we all see the world different and at times we feel different for being simply who we are.
I know mental health is something many of us feel we are stigmatized for, rather than it being an open conversation between health professionals, or even family and friends. I do not feel our mental health struggle should be labeled yet something we should feel to either speak or not to about. I do feel by openly talking about the struggles you face with mental health you can help not only yourself, but those around you who may be going or have gone through something similar. I also feel that you should speak to someone you trust or professional about what you are going through, since there are people out there who care and want to listen. I have learned to speak with family and friends more about my struggles, and they have been there to offer a hug and be an ear to listen to. While you may feel you are alone, who you are does not matter and what you do holds no purpose, that is farther from the truth, I and so many care about you. If you are hurting, please reach out to someone you trust or even me, I am here to listen and not judge.
I feel with social media, so many societal and family pressures, we as humans can be pushed to our limits. Do know you set those boundaries, if someone decides to continuously walk over that line, you hold the power to express where you stand. Stand up for yourself and others, even if you feel you well be broken down and picked a part. Having a heart that beats, a mind that thinks and a body that moves will continue to push you forward pass the things and people who will try to hold you back.
Keep going, feel your emotions and express your truth without regret, because as Maya Angelou said, ““I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So, keep pushing forward, take each day by day, take each step by step and before you know it, you will be at the finish lines you never thought you would cross with the people who never left your side along the way, and continued to cheer you on, no matter how many times you wanted to give up along the way. Remember, you have the spark to set a fire ablaze and float away with the ambers, embark and blaze your own path and be around even when the stars fade and the smoke blurs what might have always been there, you!
PS I hope to share more of my journey with mental health with time. Please remember mental health is a journey, and should be right up there with your physical health. Never loose faith in yourself, in others or in society, there are always hope and people out there who will catch you if you fall. You may be in a fight or a constant battle with your mental health, be defeated time after time, never give up, keep going, I got you!