Let’s Talk: Mental Health

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I’ve posted quite a few blog posts this year, 25 to be more specific. I’ve posted about the new year, music, concerts, travel, fashion, and other things that I love. They’re all about happy things that I enjoy, and get excited about. I left out a lot about this year though. I didn’t talk about the anxiety, disappointment in myself, and depression that I’ve dealt with throughout those other things. If I’m being honest a large part of this year really sucked. There were some good parts to it of course, but overall it’s been difficult. I spent months really struggling with my mental health. I kept quiet about it on here though because I didn’t want to be that annoying downer. I had a few people that I could talk to through it all, but I wasn’t all that open on here. I’m kind of disappointed in myself to be honest.

I’ve always been someone who prefers to follow people on social media that are open and honest about their struggles because it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I like to see people be real, and not just be like “hey, I’m happy all the time.” I’m guilty of that though. I’ve posted about a lot of good stuff this year, but on all of my social media accounts I can count on 1 hand how many times I said I was struggling. So I want to apologize for failing to be completely real, and tell you now that basically from the end of last December well into mid September I really struggled with my mental health.

A lot of the time I just felt anxious, which means a lot of things. Some days I’d over think everything, and make myself almost crazy with all the different outcomes of a situation. I’d think back to conversations from years ago, and worry about things I said. Even though the person I had the conversation with probably doesn’t even remember it. Other days I just felt on edge, and couldn’t explain why. Sometimes I just felt annoyed all day. A couple of times I sat in my room sobbing for a while, and had no idea why I was even crying. I couldn’t think of a reason that I was crying, but at the time I just couldn’t stop. Then there were times where I felt nothing. I was just kind of numb. Then there were days that I spent tearing myself down because I felt disappointed in myself. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life in so many different areas. I saw people my age or younger than me doing things or having things that I thought I was supposed to have already, and I felt like I had to be doing something wrong in my life. Needless to say I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year, and I’m just really thankful to have some amazing people in my life who supported me through it all. Whether it was offering advice or just listening they were there, and I’m so grateful for them. I’m not sure that they know how helpful they were, but I owe them a lot.

For a while I was scared to post this, and I struggled on how to write this. I didn’t want people to think I was writing it for attention or to be like poor pitiful me. I also stressed that I wouldn’t be able to write this in the way that I felt it should be written. I’ve spent hours trying to write this post, and I wrote and rewrote it so many times. I’m still not sure that I worded it all correctly, and I’ll probably go back later and be like I should have added this or not said this. It’s kind of funny though that after all the planning I tried to put into this post that I’m currently now just writing this as I go. I stopped trying to plan it all out, and overthinking it. I decided to write it just like I would write in my journal. So here it is. When you read all of my other posts about cool places I visited, concerts I went to, music I’m listening to, and all the other stuff. Just know that all of that was going on at the same time. My life isn’t happy happy happy all the time. I’m here to tell you that no one’s life is that way. The internet may portray that most of the time, but it’s not true.

After dealing with all of that I finally woke up one morning, and I felt better. I felt more like myself again. I finally felt content with where I am in life, and realized that I should be enjoying the moment. I’m not saying I completely got over everything I was just talking about because I still struggle, but I’m not in that cloudy phase that I felt trapped in for a while. I started trying to take better care of myself, I took time away from my phone to do other things that I enjoy, and just tried to be kinder to myself. I’ve also tried to be more mindful about how I treat others. I’m not saying I’m always the kindest person, but I’ve tried to be better. I found a shirt earlier this year that I liked from Mod Natives that says “Always be Kind.” I liked it for the saying, but I also liked it because part of the money spent on it goes to mental health. It wasn’t until a little while after getting the shirt though that I realized how important that saying is. We hear it all the time. “Be Kind”, “Treat people the way you wanted to be treated”, and so many other variations. I don’t feel we always click with what it’s saying though. It didn’t click for me until one day I was sitting in my room sobbing for about 20 minutes or so for no reason. Then later that day I went to Stone Mountain with my family, and I was standing there looking at the view from the top of the mountain with a smile on my face. It hit me that no one there knew how much I’d struggled that morning. Sure I was fine at that time, but that morning was so horrible. I then realized how little we know about the people around us, and what they’re dealing with. So that’s when it hit me how important those three words are, “Always be Kind.” You never know what someone else is facing so try to have patience, and love for them. It can be something small like a compliment or a smile or something big. Just be kind and thoughtful towards the people you encounter.

You may also notice the music video placed in this post as well. I put it in here because it came out at a time where I was feeling really really low. I started to play it not knowing what it was about, and it made me cry. I realized I wasn’t alone in how I felt, and I felt that Hunter Hayes had to have crawled into my mind to write most of this song. It was a perfect example of how I felt, and I ended up crying to the song quite a few times after that first listen. The other day though it came on as I was driving down the road, and I smiled to myself. I smiled because I realized I didn’t feel upset anymore. I finally felt happy, and content with where I currently am. Sure there are things that I still wish would happen sooner than later, but I realize I can still enjoy life while I’m waiting for those things.

Overall, I just wanted to share this because I feel it’s important to be open about struggles. It also feels nice to be open with everyone, and just say “hey, I was really struggling.” I’m still struggling if I’m being honest. Not like I was earlier this year, but I still have my days that are really rough. I held back from posting this for such a long time for so many different reasons, but I realized I had to stop putting it off. Just know life can suck, but it can also be wonderful. Also if you’re struggling then please talk to someone. I’m not saying it will fix everything, but it really does help to just unload it all sometimes. Find people that are open to listening to you. Those people aren’t always going to have answers that you need or want, but they’ll be an open ear for you to voice things. Sometimes they’ll tell you something that you needed to hear that you didn’t know you needed to hear. So be open when you’re struggling, and just know you aren’t the only one. Also if someone decides that you’re the person they’re going to talk to then don’t tear them down. Offer an open ear to them, and let them talk. You don’t have to know what to say. Just know that sometimes lending that open ear can make a difference. If you read all of this post then I just want to thank you for listening/reading. Now go out there and be real with people, and also be kind to people. Don’t let the words “be kind” just be something you hear, and place to the side. Let it be something you live by, and pass on the word to others. I think that we could all use a little kindness in our lives.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Mental Health

  1. My Ash, I am so very proud of you. This was beautiful written and so open and honest. I hear you and I relate to your struggles. Just know that you are so uniquely you and also that your path in life is also just as unique. Every day is different and some days truly are a struggle, but beauty can also be found in the struggles as you have shown in your post. You are so wise and full of kindness and empathy to others. I am so glad that you are also working on being kind to yourself, it’s something I have tried to be better at too. You are such a strong, independent woman and I admire your courage and strength in being your true self. You are my Hero!!

    Liked by 1 person

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