I dream of the day in which we are educated enough as a society to see a physical illness just as important as a mental one. I hope we create a safe space where people don’t second guess seeking help, therapy or treatment due to the stigma, of being fake or weak. Mental health awareness is something that needs to be widespread in order to create a healthier society.
Please let the pain be felt, give yourself time to heal, practice self-nourishment and self-love, meditate, use art as therapy, express yourself, vent with someone, take out the negative thoughts in a way that helps you grow- whether that’s doing exercise, writing, singing, dancing or simply taking a bath. Some days are harder than others, be patient with yourself and allow yourself to not be okay. Acknowledge your feelings, do not suppress them, I know sometimes you do sacrifices out of love, but do not set yourself on fire to keep others warm, validate and respect your feelings. Do not do to yourself what you wouldn’t do to anyone else. We are often told to put a brave face on, the one that people like seeing, but sometimes taking that mask off is the bravest thing we can do. Vulnerability is beautiful and the beauty in you is beyond compare. Do not envy other people’s lives, you never know whether they are going through something or not in this world that has told us to put a fake face on and pretend. Mental illnesses look different in everyone, don’t judge someone based on the idea you have, create a dialogue of understanding. Healing is not linear and life is a roller coaster. Sometimes life will feel amazing and other times it will feel like it is bending you until you break, but you can go through it and you can overcome it. Just keep trying because you are strong, you are worthy and you deserve to be loved. Never lose hope.
Remember: it’s you against the illness but you are not the illness.
To the people that know someone that deals with a mental illness (or illnesses) I recommend to not say this:
-Are you okay? (When they are clearly not).
-Tell me about it (Not everyone is willing to open up instantly about their hardest battles).
Instead be empathetic and supportive. A simple hug, a touching letter of appreciation, a conversation, or a “I’m here if you ever need it” can really go a long way for someone.
Nevertheless, social media is often a harmful space so please spread messages of love and kindness, encourage each other and keep in mind that if you feel like it is impacting your life negatively you can quit and take a break.