It’s been a little over a year since my mental health “coming out”. More or less one year ago there I was, hesitant as I probably ever felt, pressing the “publish” button and letting my mental health story be out there for anyone else to read.
A lot of things happened within this past year. And I think I’ve personally learned more about myself during these past 365+ days than in an entire lifetime. I’ve cried (a lot), I’ve laughed (also a lot.. because a life without smiles and laughters is not the same), I’ve done new things, I’ve felt scared, vulnerable, lost, ugly, but also beautiful, powerful, radiant, determined.
Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever your life looks like right now, if you’re reading this: it’s going to be okay. Even if doesn’t quite seem like it at the moment.
Because when you start accepting yourself with your qualities and your flaws, exactly as you are, and you start showing true love and care to yourself, those grey clouds will slowly start clearing up and the sky will turn into that beautiful bright blue again. It will rain sometimes but you’ll always have an umbrella with you: those you love. Ask for help if you feel like the ground keeps on slipping away from under your feet.
I’m not saying that life is going to magically become easy because let’s be real, it won’t. But if you give yourself enough time as well as kindness and compassion, every day will seem a little easier.
Here are two quotes from the book that I’ve read shortly before publishing that blog post a year ago. “Furiously happy” by Jenny Lawson is the book that made me finally realize that mental health issues are not something to hide, to be ashamed of, but they’re just something that simply make us “us”, with no sugar frosting on top. And may everyone be able to always live unapologetically and free to be themselves.
“There’s a quote from ‘The Breakfast Club’ that goes “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.” I have it on a poster but I took a Sharpie to it and scratched out the word “hiding” because it reminds me that there’s a certain pride and freedom that comes from wearing your unique bizarreness like a badge of honor.”
“Without the dark there isn’t light. Without the pain there is no relief. And I remind myself that I’m lucky to be able to feel such great sorrow, and also such great happiness. I can grab on to each moment of joy and live in those moments because I have seen the bright contrast from dark to light and back again. I am privileged to be able to recognize that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, and to realize that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, because those same moments are a medicine, a balm. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise.”