In honor of today and Mental Health Awareness Week, I will share a story of a friend’s mental health journey as told to me. While every story is different, know that you are never alone in your struggle. Being vulnerable and open is courageous and its’ great to support each other and continue to fight the stigma.
“I remember, it was last year. I was sitting in a chair across from my new therapist saying ” Listen, I don’t think you can handle me. I think I’m too f*cked up. She looked at me and said” Well, why don’t we give it a shot and I’ll decide just how f*cked up you really are”. There was this journey of peeling back layers of mistrust, trauma, unforgiveness, anger, self-hatred, anxiety, and zero self-worth. After a few sessions, I started to see that I was stronger than I ever thought possible. I had stories of over 30+ years, more than most in their lifetime and I needed to own it rather than be ashamed of it. There were techniques and tools to use when things became overwhelming. Finally, I could feel my heart open up and see myself with a clear lens.
That I am worthy. I am strong. I am wildly capable. I am kind. I have the ability to live the life of my dreams. And I have the ability to bring so much light & love into others lives when I want to. I took those truths and meditated over them. I spoke them over myself and I started working out again. Starting off with an hour a day. I believed in the affirmations as I took risks again. I’ve cried over them when I start to believe maybe I’m too f*cked up to slowly silence that thought. It works. It’s a process of repetition but it works.
I think to me, a mental health story is ongoing and never fully ends. It ebbs and flows. The ebb allows me to breathe and get on my feet again. The flow may knock me down, but it reminds me how fragile life is and to live every moment like it’s my last. Neither are good or bad- they just are- and they’re necessary to balance this chaotic thing called my life. I’m not sure where life is going to take me next, but I do feel that I’m much more worthy, strong, and determined to receive it”
Also, mental health crisis kits can come in handy. It’s just something you decide to carry with you in case you need it, filled with various items. For example: A notebook to remind you of your crisis plan. A phone charger to contact whomever you need. Earphones to escape the outside world. Tissues, in case you need to cry. Fidget cube to distract your hands. Chapstick, to avoid picking dry skin. These are just a few helpful items. Remember, you can also TEXT HOME to 741741 and reach a trained crisis counselor at ANY time.
Give yourself CREDIT: Be enough for you. Celebrate yourself. Know you are only human. Write down your accomplishments. Believe you are doing your best. Know you deserve success. Practice positive self-talk. Share your pride. #WORLDMENTALHEALTHDAY