In the light of World Mental Health Day, I was motivated to share some parts of my journey with Mental Health. I’ve been on a quest for healing for the past 2 years and it was and still is an extremely challenging yet rewarding process.
But yeah, I was late on taking the step of seriously addressing my mental health due to various elements. Some of them were personal and others were destructive social and cultural beliefs. And that’s what I’m here to tell.
I hope sharing parts of the Journey motivates you to start yours or at least makes you feel less alone. Let’s Start!
A Battle against multiple Stigmas
The dangerous thing about mental health stigmas is that they villainize the victims and convince them that their struggle is their fault. It took me unlearning those stigmas and understating that my healing is my responsibility to start taking serious steps towards healing.
1- It’s your Fault!
One of the stigmas I battled with was viewing my mental struggle as a personal failure. I was told that I’m smart enough and I should be able to help myself get out of my “sadness”. And after years of tireless attempts and fluctuating results, I was convinced that I failed myself and those who believed in me.
I was told that I need to get my life together in order to feel better, be it college, work, diet, or friendships and relationships.
My struggle with those aspects of my life was seen as a cause of mental illness, not as a result of it.
2- Mental Illness is a Shame!
Lastly, the stigma that mental illness is a shameful thing that I need to hide cause nobody wants to be around someone who’s struggling; that people only deserve good things when they are feeling good and being their best selves.
The only thing these stigmas and stereotypes did was deepen my struggle and deny me the psychological help I needed. And I truly hope you don’t allow them or any other ones to keep you stuck and alone in your struggle.
Self care is not just Skincare
Disclaimer: the most important step if you’re struggling mentally is to seek professional help. It can be therapists, psychiatrists, or life coaches. The things I’ll mention are some insights that I obtained with the help of therapy and meditation.
Alone up against all of those stigmas, they were winning. They ganged up on me and even though they were saying different things; they had one thing in common; they said your struggle is your fault and you don’t deserve to get help.
This is when my understanding of self-care deepened. It stopped being about skincare and morning routines and started being about creating a kind and caring voice in my head that stands up and shows up for me.
Since then, I understood that self-care is all about balancing between what you need and what you want. It’s making very uncomfortable decisions to protect your peace. It’s unlearning unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that no longer serve you or the future of you.
It’s being aware of your own shadow and making new small choices every single day to cultivate a better life. It’s treating yourself with gentleness and grace even when it feels strange and even uncomfortable cause the world hasn’t been kind to you.
It’s understanding that you’re worthy just because you exist and you don’t need to derive your worth from anything outside of yourself.
When you believe that, you stop trying to prove anything to anyone and you thrive from a place of abundance, not a place of chasing and lack.
It’s understanding that you’ll outgrow some people and places and even if it’s difficult, you have to choose yourself.