When discussing mental health, I like to preface the post with a disclaimer. It’s never my intention for my blog to be triggering to anyone; if you are struggling and need help, please utilize the resources that are linked at the bottom of this page. My hope is that in sharing my experience, I might make one person feel less alone.
I hope you’re staying safe & healthy! Today I wanted to talk about something that’s incredibly near & dear to me: mental health. Something that’s been really refreshing in all of this uncertainty is that it seems like people are being more open in discussing their mental health. I love reading all of the posts about how people are coping with anxiety during this difficult time, shedding light on mental health issues & helping to end the stigma. Lately, I’ve been loving supporting small businesses that are spreading positivity & hope; that is why I’m SO excited to be collaborating with a company like Borcik Jewelry! I was immediately drawn to the brand, & am honored to get to work with them! This jewelry is beautiful, dainty, & perfect for every day! The best part is that they donate proceeds to TWLOHA, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention & mental health awareness. I’m so inspired by their mission & wanted to share my mental health journey with all of you.
Mental health is something that I’m so passionate about! I’ve mentioned that I’m working on my graduate degree in mental health counseling, & plan on seeing clients in just a few short years. It’s my dream to help people through having my own therapy practice one day, & it’s exciting to be making strides toward achieving that goal.
My sophomore year of college was by far the most pivotal year for my mental health. I had been studying mental health in school, but suddenly the things I had read about directly impacted me. A close childhood friend of mine passed away by suicide that year. I remember the day that I found out so clearly; my heart was shattered. She was only 18, & we had been out of touch for a few years.
I found myself having daily panic attacks & feeling so overwhelmed by guilt & grief. I would lay in bed all day instead of going to class, & I used other unhealthy coping mechanisms as well, such as drinking too much alcohol. I realized that I was hurting myself & my friends, (it was probably not so fun taking care of me during that time, thank you & love you guys!) so I decided that I needed professional help; this was not something that I could just sort through on my own. I made an appointment with a therapist for the first time ever, & stopped drinking alcohol until I had a better handle on my emotions. After discussing the feelings of fear & anxiety that I had experienced my whole life, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; my symptoms were amplified in my current state of extreme grief, but the anxiety disorder had likely always been there.
A lot of feelings of shame came along with my diagnosis, & even the act of going to my bi-weekly appointments made me feel so embarrassed. I had been taught to view going to therapy & getting help as a weakness. Little did I know, it would become such a strength! Once I came to terms with having an anxiety disorder, I decided to be as open about it as possible with people I trusted. That helped me normalize it, & eventually those feelings of shame faded away. I’ll always have an anxiety disorder, but therapy taught me ways to cope that I continue to use to manage my symptoms. That along with my amazing support system helps me so much every day!
Getting help with your mental health when you feel overwhelmed (or even if everything is going fine & you just want to go to therapy!) is nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s a form of self care, & learning new ways of coping will benefit you SO MUCH.
Society still has a stigma surrounding mental health, so we can sometimes feel ashamed when trying to work on our own. Why is it, that we brag to all of our friends if we’ve been going to the gym, but we don’t tell a single soul that we’re going to therapy? Mental health is just as important (even more at times!) than physical health. Talking about our mental health struggles will only continue to shed light & help others.
I hope you’ll take a moment today & check in with your mental health. If you’re struggling, or maybe just curious & want to learn more about mental health, please visit the websites I have linked down below. Knowledge truly is power, & educating yourself on what you need to be healthy is so powerful. Please go check out the other beautiful jewelry that Borcik Jewelry creates; this company is so deserving of all of the support in the world!
Take care of yourself, body & mind!
NAMI-National Alliance of Mental Illness
TWLOHA-To Write Love on Her Arms