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I have depression and anxiety…let’s talk about it. (World Mental Health Day 2020)

So, I began writing a post on Instagram in an attempt to spread awareness for World Mental Health Day, and I realized that I have way more to say than can fit in an Instagram caption. Plus, I felt that this topic deserved more than a social media post.

This post will be short and sweet, but I made a promise to myself that I would use this blog, not only for fun shares and posts (let’s face it, I could talk about skincare and clothes for hours), but for when I had something “important” to say.

So here it goes: ITS OKAY TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH!

I’m no psychology expert, but I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life…like, seriously, I was diagnosed before I was 10 years old. I’ve been to some very dark places in my life that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It took me most of my life to learn to acknowledge it, figure it out, manage it and understand it. I still don’t completely understand it (and probably never will), but I feel like I’m in a position now where I can openly talk about it, and I think that is a really important step.

Mental health has always had an unfortunate stigma. I can totally relate to feeling embarrassed about having these “issues,” wanting to hide them and act like everything is okay (I was a cheerleader in high school, so I’ve pretty much mastered the fake smile).

Especially now with social media feeds spewing out images of beautiful people in fabulous places, “living their best life.” It’s so easy to compare yourself to them, but what I keep reminding myself is that everything is not how it may seem. Just because someone is posting about how fabulous and beautiful their life is, doesn’t mean it’s always fabulous and beautiful. ANYONE could be struggling with something internally, and it’s not always recognizable.

On World Mental Health day this year, I’d like to encourage people to openly talk about mental health. Check in on your friends. Even if they are seemingly “happy” and their life looks perfect on the outside, that may not always be the case. Reach out to family you haven’t spoken to in a while. These tiny little gestures could make all the difference to someone in need (whether they know it or not).

Seeing others openly talk about their mental health struggles has given me a feeling of comfort, knowing that I’m not the only one. I can read the statistics on how many people suffer from depression and anxiety, but it doesn’t have the same impact as hearing someone openly address and share their struggles.

I truly believe that we are all in this together. You are never EVER alone, no matter how much it may feel like it. Even though it is probably impossible for someone to 100% understand what you are going through, sharing it and talking through it can make such a difference.

And, if you aren’t comfortable sharing your concerns with friends or family, let me fill you in on a little secret: THERAPY ROCKS. You don’t have to have a “mental illness” to go to therapy. Maybe you are stressed out about school, or feeling like you hate your job, or like your relationships aren’t as fulfilling as they “should” be.

One huge step that I’ve taken lately is that I decided to stop SHOULDing myself. Check in with yourself and ask yourself what’s really important. Give yourself that time, because you deserve it. Give yourself affirmations, because you deserve it. Give yourself someone to talk to, because whether it is a friend, family member, or a therapist, you deserve it. Talk about yourself and care about yourself. It’s okay.

Anyway, (remember when I said this would be short and sweet? woops…) I truly believe that talking about it is the first step to destigmatizing mental health, and potentially getting more people the help that they need. Let’s work together as human beings to take care of one another, and to take care of ourselves.

One last thing: reach out to me! If you have ANY questions or concerns, or just need someone to talk to, I am more than happy to be that person (even if we haven’t spoken in years, or even if we are complete strangers). Let’s all work together to address mental health and bring each other happiness, because, well, we all deserve it.

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