My mental health journey began when I was young. I experienced a traumatic event that changed my life and the way I looked at myself and at the world around me. I developed chronic anxiety, depression, and a tendency to shut down emotionally in response to stress. These issues hindered me for years until I reached out for help and was diagnosed with a mental illness.
The road has been long but rewarding. For the first time, talking to a professional about all of my struggles helped me to understand them better and gave me new tools to cope with life’s challenges. With therapy, mindfulness strategies, lifestyle changes including nutrition and exercise, and medication when needed, I’ve learned how to manage my symptoms and live life without fear or overwhelming sadness. This process of self-discovery has revealed invaluable lessons on resilience as well as strengths I didn’t even know existed within me.
These days, I’m able to be kinder to myself, recognize feelings when they come up without getting overwhelmed by them, approach problems with more clarity, love others more fully — the list goes on. Although there will always be good days and bad days — it’s important that we all remember there is a different kind of strength in vulnerability: acknowledging our fears won’t make us weak; it will make us human again!