Stop Ignoring Your Mental Health- It Causes More Damage Than You Think
Good Day Starshine!
I didn’t know what I was going to write today, especially since I have been at a standstill when it comes to things to put on paper (or online). I have so many things running through my head at any given hour, and sometimes it feels next to impossible to create art (or a formalized blog post). With all these thoughts and ideas running through my head, I’ve come up with the topic of mental health and the importance of it.
Caring For Your Mental Health Is Not a Sign of Insanity
There are so many stigmas out there about mental health. As soon as you say “mental” [most times] people will slowly back away because they aren’t sure what to do or say. We aren’t really taught, at least in my generation, how to properly care for yourself. We weren’t properly taught how to make sure our minds were aligned with our spirit and soul. We were taught to keep pushing and to ignore the issues.
I was taught that resiliency was the answer to pain. I was taught to keep my vulnerable side trapped in a cage buried deep in the abyss, than to allow myself to feel anything but anger (for my protection). I was taught that crying (in public) was a sign of weakness. I was taught that I must give up myself to my significant other, and eventually I will learn to love myself through them.
I was taught wrong!
Many of the descriptions above are unspoken examples I’ve witnessed throughout my life. Growing up, survival was more important than health. If you had a bad day, go grab a drink. If you are sad, go in the room and figure it out. If you are depressed, that’s only for white people. If you have a mental disease, then you’re just crazy.
No help was given, no actual solution, no way to get out of the neglect.
It wasn’t until high school that I sought out my first counselor. She was a school counselor/fit trainer. I’m not sure what made me go to her, but I did. I spoke to her about things I would never tell anyone else. I spoke to her about my first love, my feelings of neglect, my battle with depression, and so much more. It was so relieving to be able to share this with a person that had no other choice but to remain neutral. That is, until after high school, I was out on my own.
Yet again, with issues I buried and never healed from.
Healing is Part of Mental Health
If we do not heal/come to resolutions with our past/present traumas, we will continue to suffer. Up until 2016, I still had a hard battle with depression. The memories I thought I buried would coming floating to the surface at the perfect moment in my life, just to remind me that I had unsolved issues to resolve. Those feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness turned me into a hateful person. I was bitter and suspicious of everyone around me. It wasn’t until 2016 when I decided to take my faith a LOT more seriously, that I realized the hindrance depression had on me. The lies the enemy spoke in my own voice to make me forget who’s child I am.
It wasn’t until i started to pray fervently that I was able to discern what was the truth about me and my life versus the lies that were fed to my soul. I was not aligned.
I started to learn how to deal with all the trauma I held onto like a crutch. I journaled it out, I prayed it out, I talked it out, I cried it out. I did whatever was necessary to stitch up the wound I let exacerbate time and time again. It was the rockiest part of my life, but it was worth it. I was broken down so that I could rebuild a sturdier future.
And although I did all of this, it is still a work in progress.
Good Mental Health Takes Time
I wish there was a fix-all pill to take to make me take care of myself automatically, but there isn’t. It is a process everyday! If we don’t take the time to care for ourselves in the best way for OUR well-being, we will continue to suffer. So, below are some things that I do when I need to realign.
Reading scripture (to remind myself of the truth God has promised)
Going Outside (nature is a natural mood booster. I love smelling the air a few times. It calms me)
Hot bubble bath with soft music and candles
Napping (because sometimes you just need sleep)
Lying around listening to soft music (I love my Soul Mix I curated on Spotify)
Go out on a picnic, lay out a blanket, and stare at the stars
Go to a movie by myself
Please, take your health seriously. Do not compare your journey to someone else’s because their path is different than yours for a reason. Do what is best for you, so that you can be the best version of yourself. We all deserve to be mentally healthy.