Mental Health Awareness Month

mental Health awareness month

We are approaching the end of the month of May, and if you knew it or not, May is officially, Mental Health Awareness Month.  There are so many things that could be address or discussed regarding this issue, however I feel that it is important to note one simple thing:  Mental Health Matters.

No matter you race, color, creed, religion or financial status, Mental Health Matters.  We all have moment of the need for mental health treatment, and the real issue is that not many of us seek that treatment when we need it.  We turn to substances, people, things or we go into avoidance mode.  Because we don’t know how to deal with things, we choose to simply not deal with them.  This serves no one.  It definitely does you no good.

Mental Health stats

I too have had moments where I have been depressed, down, extremely sensitive and unable to adequately express my emotions.  I have been to counseling, and as a therapist and coach I have counseled others.  I know hurt pain, loss, rejection, loneliness,  sadness and grief.  I have watch loved ones die, I have seen the effect of addiction and I have had to make medical decision for my parent not knowing if he would live or die.  At some point in time we all endure some or most of these things and it takes a toll on our mental health.

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness month, I want to let you know that you are not alone on this journey.  There are people who are here to listen to help and to just be there if that is what you need.  I have some amazing friends, those who will just hold the phone while I cry, those who take me out for ice cream, and those who know those things I may be ashamed or embarrassed to share with anyone else.  Other than going to see my therapist, who may not always be available when I need her, these people help me to survive.  They are my life line.

mental health matters

My advice would be to seek help if you need it.  If you don’t feel like yourself, if you feel loss, down, discouraged, if you lack the energy or the desire to do anything or go anywhere, you need to consider talking to someone.  You do not always have to go and find a high priced prestigious therapist.  There are lots of free resources that can get you started on your journey to healing.

The first place to start is with your health insurance.  If you have health insurance, contact you insurance provider and ask about mental health services.  For most employer provided insurances the information may be on your insurance card.  If you are uninsured or if your employer does not provide mental health services organizations such as NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health have locations around the world that can assist you.

The second thing I would suggest is to build a support system.  Find people who will avail themselves to you, people who will listen and people who will be encouraging but not participate in a pity a party.  People who will help you move past the rut you may find yourself in.  And also be ready when you can to reciprocate when needed.

Finally, do not let stigma keep you from receiving the help and assistance you deserve.  Know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with mental illness or asking for help.  Millions of people suffer daily and while many do not receive the care or treatment they deserve, millions are speaking up and speaking out daily.  You are not alone on this journey.  It is absolutely ok to ask for and receive help.  Most of the time it is only a phone call away.

Be Blessed! Be Fabulous!

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The Hardest Thing

the hardest thingl

Lately, my life has been in a holding pattern, I would dare say a self-imposed holding pattern.  There are things that are going great in my life and things that are not so great.  There have been struggles, victories and days where I just wanted to stay in bed and eat a bucket of French vanilla ice cream.  There have been some high highs and some low lows. What I am beginning to realize is that I have been my own worst enemy.

There have been times in my life where I felt that I didn’t deserve the good things, the easy things and that everything would be a fight, a struggle a WWE level wrestling match.  While my job and career are spent to a large degree helping and motivating others, there are times when I lack self-motivation and I find myself needing to be motivated, helped and pushed.  I am just keeping it real, there are some days where it is a real struggle.

There are times when it takes as much energy to smile as it does to lift a 200lb weight, and the tears come from out of the blue and flow non-stop.   There are times when I have to repeatedly remind myself of all of the blessings around me and all of the things I have survived, endured, overcome, but it still feels as though it is just not enough.  Then there are times when on this entrepreneurial journey, where I question if leaving the comfort of my 9-5 was worth it, even though I know the job was killing me emotionally and mentally.  There are the times when there are more bills than money and more responsibilities than time in the day.

There are those moments when you make every attempt to be vulnerable and helpful only to end up misunderstood and judged.  The people you thought knew you best turn out to be as much of a stranger as people you don’t know at all.  You put on the makeup, the hair, the perfect outfit but you are no more than a mannequin on display for those around you.  The face is smiling but the eyes say nothing.

henryfordquote

The reality of the situation is that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to love yourself and the life you are living.  The other hard thing to do is to change your thinking, change your circumstances and change your situation.  Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t you are right”.  How true and powerful that statement is.  It is often hard to find peace in the darkness because the light exposes too much.

dark valley

I have come to realize that I am in a valley.  Not buried, definitely not dead but in a valley.  And while there are some not so good things in the valley, you can also find some great things in the valley.  So while I journey through this valley experience I can say with firm conviction:

I am ok

I am going to make it

I won’t be in the valley forever

Look out for the person that emerges from this valley; she will be a conqueror

This valley will make me stronger, wiser and better

 

Be Blessed Be Fabulous!

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