It isn’t easy to open up with the world about how flawed I am. I worry about people reading and judging me before I have the opportunity to even speak to them face to face.
Even so, I have to keep the door open. You see; when I was younger- and struggling to understand myself- there was no resource like this. There wasn’t even a conversation about mental health at all. It was assumed that all of that would be swept beneath the rug and ignored until it tripped someone.
Every day I felt broken, and alone. I felt like no one else was like me in the entire world and as though I failed at being a complete person. Upon diagnosis, I was afraid. How would others look at me? Would it be clear for them to see, written on my forehead in bold, black letters?
For years, I was cautious about opening up. One day I realized that my problems, and other problems like it really weren’t uncommon at all. In my own small community where I had felt so alone- many of the other people my age suffered in silence as well.
When I opened the door to conversation – even here in this small, close knit community- people began to come out of the woodwork. Then, people from all over the world started to approach me and open up about their struggles as well. It turned out that many of the youth in my community had similar struggles, and had experienced a lot of the same difficult feelings that I had growing up. We had suffered silently, close- and yet alone.
I spent so many years ashamed of who I was. I couldn’t move forward in my treatment because I simply couldn’t forgive myself for being an utter failure.
I realize now, that it was never visible to begin with. The people I grew up around- they had no idea what I dealt with every day. They didn’t know why I was so distant, so closed.
We weren’t taught much in the way of mental health, and for that I lay no blame in my fellow community members.
It is because I never opened the door to let them in, that I wasn’t understood.
Here, it is a shame to seek help. It signals a weakness inside of you that should be forever hidden. It took me years to change that view within myself. I will not feel guilty or ashamed for doing what I need to do to be my best self.
I know now; that I am better for it. I wish that we could lift the stigma from therapy- so that more people could utilize it.
It is amazing what it does for a person to be able to voice their thoughts, and then analyze them to understand them in safe company.
I had these worries; fears of how I projected into the world. I would get upset and then begin what I thought was an unstoppable slide into irrational behaviour. I would find myself inconsolable; crying for days without being able to stop or eat.
Thanks to the therapeutic process; the first step into that downward slide is now the first step in my coping process. Instead of feeling a loss of control; I am empowered by the ability to change the way that I feel, slowly.
Although this blog was never meant for people in my community; who would never welcome thoughts like mine- I have a message for those of you reading from nearby.
I am not afraid to answer your questions. I am not afraid to speak up about what I’m going through. I never intended for this blog to help you, or to reach out to you in any way. If you do find yourself, sitting in your home in the centre- reading my latest words, I have only one thing to ask.
Bring your questions to me. Head over to the “contact me” page, and write an email. It’s time the people who watched me grow up learn about who I really am.
I am not a monster. I am not something to be ashamed of. Despite the internal difficulties I face, I am doing my best.
The words I have written about my mental health have already gone a long way to ostracize me further in the community. If you would ask questions, or attempt to understand- rather than pass your judgements- know that I would welcome you with open arms. I know what it feels like to be shut out, and I have no wish to do so to anyone else.
I thought for a long time that the world would be best without me in it. Now that I am mother to my girls, I know where I have to be. I know that there is no easy way out of this life, and that we are never given anything we can’t handle. No matter how difficult it might seem, there is always a way.
If I can help one person in this world to feel like they are worthy, like they are not alone- then I will have repaid my debt. I owe it to the world to help someone in the way that I have been helped.
If you are out there, reading- struggling with your own internal battle- know that I am here for you. That this is a safe place; not only for me, but for you as well.
Thanks again for reading.