A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled, When the Glitter Doesn’t Shine. That was a hard post and it had a lot of not-so happy-stuff inside. I could apologize but it’s real life and I’m not going to be one of the bloggers that contribute to the problem of always portraying their lives as rainbows and sunshine. Life is hard. You know what makes life easier? When someone comes alongside you and says, “I get it, I’ve been there too” instead of sweeping it under the rug and plastering a smile on their face.
This Thursday is World Mental Health day. It’s a day to bring awareness to mental health and the stigmatisms that surround it. Honestly, can I tell you that I never thought I would be here. I never thought that I would deal with depression so severe that I would walk away from this blog and life in general for weeks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would deal with anxiety that made it hard to breathe and my heart race. I used to think that PTSD was just a diagnosis for soldiers and rescue workers, not for a dorky craft blogger.
Yet, here I am. Here my family is too since they’re standing with me in this fight. It’s been ten months since I first asked for help.
It’s hard to be vulnerable and to tell you these things about myself. Actually, since starting therapy, I have a ton of new words to use. One of them is triggered, meaning that something I’m doing or participating in is causing me to stumble and get tripped up mentally. In the past week, I’ve been able to identify that being vulnerable is a trigger for me. Tomorrow might be a rough day for me because I wrote this post and shared it tonight. But you know what? It’s worth it. It’s worth it to stand here in front of a ton of people and share this with you because if you need help – if you are struggling, I want you to know that I am here too. You are worth it to me. You are not alone.
Ending the stigma behind mental health is now important to me because I’ve gotten the weird looks or dealt with friends that are uncomfortable by what I’m dealing with. I can handle it, I’m stronger than I realize. But the stigma needs to end because if one of my kids ever find themselves where I am now, I want them to live in a world that is full of love and support for them.
So how do we fight the stigma? We simply tell our stories. We share where we are. We have conversations.
Where am I today? I’m actually doing much better than I was when I wrote the post, When the Glitter Doesn’t Shine. I am still struggling some and I still see a therapist weekly. But, I am finding my joy again. I am back painting and creating. I am getting to a better place and now I know that even if I have another setback, I’ll ultimately keep moving forward.
This journey has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done but daily I remind myself that my story isn’t over. In fact, I have an opportunity to change my story in a way that I never thought was possible.
I am brave and strong. I am loved. I am an overcomer. But… so are you.
This week, share your story. Help end the stigma. And if you feel like you need help or you just need to talk to someone, reach out and get the help you need. I am so thankful that my husband asked me to get help because now I can change and I can also help shed light on mental health.