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Why do I share?
I share who I am and how I feel because I know what it’s like silently feel like you’re not enough. I know how dangerous those feelings can be.

Most of my life I’ve been told about how strong I am. I grew up feeling like an outsider because of my childhood and that feeling followed me well into adulthood.

I still feel that way sometimes. 

Why do I share? 
I share because I know what it’s like to wake up one day and not recognize yourself.

No one ever asked me how I felt about the adversity I face in my childhood, so I never really understood my own feelings. I was 27 when I started to really dig into dealing with the abandonment issues of my childhood. Before that, I was a very hurt person and I coped in the most unhealthy ways. I was mean, vengeful, self destructive, insecure, and abusive to so many of my loved ones (mentally, emotionally, and physically). If only I caught a glimpse of someone else feeling anything close to how lost I felt. That’s why I share.

I share because for a very long time I was so ashamed of how I felt. I was embarrassed to talk about my life because I didn’t want anyone to think I was throwing a pity party or that I wanted anyone to feel SORRY for me.

I still feel that way sometimes. 

Screenshot_20181205-182628_Chrome.jpgThen I met my best friend, Tricia. She was very aware of her anxiety and depression. She openly talked about her struggles and her fears and that, to me, was so refreshing. For the first time in my entire life I felt like I wasn’t alone. I felt like she understood what it was like to fight battles within herself every day and she did!

That was 5 years ago and the very beginning of my journey of prioritizing my mental health.

I think it will come as a shock to some people when I say I found my voice in 2018 because I’ve always had voice. I’ve always stood up for myself, for others, and I’ve never had a problem speaking my mind. When I say I found MY voice I mean that I was able be unapologetically authentic about who I was: An anxious, insecure person that doubted her self worth at every corner; Someone who gets depressed for no reason at all because she was born that way. I fixed the problems I saw in my parenting, my romantic and family relationships, and my friendships by working from the inside out.

Before I knew it, I was starting to see myself the way so many others have seen me for years. When my therapist told me she believed I had reached the end of my program it wasn’t because I had nothing to work through anymore. It’s because she believed I had the tools to work through them on my own, knowing I can always fall back on her if I am overwhelmed and struggling.Screenshot_20181205-182814_Chrome.jpg

So, I share. I share because I still struggle sometimes.

When people tell you that you’re not alone, it means something, but it also doesn’t. Anxiety and Depression sometimes make it IMPOSSIBLE to believe it. The moment I FELT like I wasn’t alone was the moment my world exploded and I know I can’t be the only one.

So, I share. I want to SHOW as many people as possible that they’re not alone. I want to be a walking, living, breathing example of what it’s like to not just exist with mental illness, but to really LIVE with it.

Naturally, I want to apologize if it annoys anyone but I am not going to. I know I’ve already touched so many hearts during my journey and the work that I’m doing by sharing is one of the most admirable things I’ve ever done in my life…

… and I plan on doing it for the rest of my life.

Stay fierce,
Mel

*All of the photos used in today’s post are courtesy of Jovana Padilla from We Are the Artist Photography.

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