As a teenager I had little information on Mental Health. I would read articles of people telling their stories, I would believe they were in pain, however I just could not imagine it being that bad. They were just feelings. They'd come and go! Nothing to be taken seriously , I'd think to myself.
I didn't have the slightest idea of how wrong I was. But during the entire 12 years of school I had maybe 2 to 3 times ever learned about anything mental health related, adding to that where I live mental health is never discussed, never acknowledged, most importantly you are rarely believed.
Struggling with your mental health, as normal as it is, brands you as "crazy" and talking about it as "attention seeking". So for months I tried so hard to hide everything, until it got bigger and I got tired.
Tired of trying to hide it, but not of fighting.
I loved how strong I was becoming and I thought it would be a shame to hide it. I wanted to hear others victorious stories, I wanted to share mine. I truly wanted my story to become someones survival guide. I wanted to find people who could understand all the chaos surrounding us. I wanted to be part of a society that understood, shared, supported.
In all my years of struggling I've learned to put me first, to be kinder to others and myself, to understand, to listen, to be there. I will always stand for what I know is true, and for what I feel. I will not let the doubt of others make me doubt myself.
I refuse to sit at tables I won't be able to get up from if I get an anxiety attack. And I refuse to sit silent when such occasions are branded as anything else than what they truly are : struggles. Real life struggles we often fail to see.
I might still not have so many things figured out. Maybe it will take long before I get better again. But I know the road of recovery isn't all sunshine. But I am strong enough to take on even the gray rainy days.
Every story is valid. Every feeling. Every day spent in pain. Let your story be heard. Let someone find themselves in it and walk by you. Hold the hand of others and let others hold your hand, so that every year that chain grows large enough to reach anyone that might be struggling.