I posted a rather last minute blurb on my instagram last night (below) in light of it being World Mental Health day, and today I’m here to talk about all of this a little bit more.
From my instagram:
If there is a single message I can get across it is that YOU MATTER. As simple and complex as that is, you matter. And, I believe in you.
My own story and experience has taught me a lot about how we need to treat ourselves as human beings in order to have stable mental health. Constantly talking down to yourself, judging your every move, doubting your path – this isn’t positive for your well-being. It’s minimizing. It’s destructive.
I’m recovered/in recovery from an eating disorder. I’ve dealt with massive amounts of anxiety. I’ve had days where I questioned if going forward was actually worth it. I’ve starved myself. I’ve purged. I’ve exercised 7 days a week multiple times a day. I’ve cut. I’ve drank too much. I’ve taken laxatives to get rid of food. I AM NOT PERFECT. And, you know what, I don’t want to be. Trying to be perfect could have killed me and it also led me to be extremely unhappy with myself and unsatisfied with my life. So screw that notion.
Throughout the last few years I have grown in ways I never imagined. I let go of many expectations I set for myself around 1. What I needed to accomplish by when, 2. What I needed to look like, 3. What path of trajectory my life took, 4. What my fitness and nutrition needed to look like day in and day out, etc. The “should do this” and “have to do that” statements controlled my life. I was practically a zombie following my own set of rules which would eventually lead to my own destruction.
IT WILL BE OK. You can survive this.
LIFE IS HARD. And you know what, that’s ok. It’s more than ok. It makes it fun. Have fun with it. Enjoy the shit out of it. Stay stoked. Find your happy. Keep your internal fire alive. Don’t destroy yourself out of fear, feelings of inadequacy, dislike of yourself. Rather be who you are – there is only one of you and that’s super f*cking cool.
YOU ARE WORTH IT. ALL OF IT. ALWAYS
“Relax wild one. It’s not your job to be everything everyone needs, and you don’t have to be impressive to be loved. Stop trying so hard. Just show up … and be real with the world. That is enough.” ― Brooke Hampton
Beyond what I said in my post, there is more that I want to put into words and convey to the world (or at least the handful of humans that stumble across my corner of the web).
It’s ok to not be ok. Heck, it’s practically part of life at one point or another. There isn’t something wrong with you because you are struggling. It doesn’t make you less worthy, less determined, less driven, less adequate. It makes you human. Humans have struggles. And, sure, maybe your current issue isn’t the same as your neighbors but that’s also more than ok. We are unique as individuals and therefore are unique in what we go through.
Don’t look down on yourself because you feel like you are walking in circles, unable to “get it together”, or even have a good day. Just have a day. Keep it simple. Don’t make it so complicated. The complication of trying to have a “good” day, or be “happy” will make it harder not easier. Just have a day. Get through the day. Understand that your struggle is completely validated and that you are validated and that your existence is entirely worth it.
Know that while it might be 1 step forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, ect. it might be 10 forward, 3 back or vice versa. Your progress doesn’t have a guidebook. Don’t define YOUR progress based on any pre-thought notions about how it should look. The word should… well it should stop existing. And, because that’s unlikely to happen, please do yourself a favor and stop using it. No matter the context it’s degrading. Example: “I should sleep more”. OK, yeah, this might be true. Why not just “I need to sleep more”. Or, “sleeping more would make me feel better”. The should isn’t needed, it takes away your power. Stop doing that to yourself. You are better than the “should have’s”.
I can’t give the answers because you have to find them on your own (because what is good for me might not be for you). What I can tell you is that working on your mental health is not a bad thing. It doesn’t make you weak. It actually makes you REALLY STRONG. I never in a million years would have guessed I would be where I am today. I can tell you that in my life I have actually felt the lowest when I was doing the best by the standards of society and of doctors offices. Mental health isn’t always visible to the naked eye. Own your struggle. Don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Don’t fear that you can’t get help because you seem fine. If you are not ok, that is as good of reason as any to get help.
Mental health is SO MUCH MORE than being happy. It’s knowing that you don’t need to always feel good. It’s understanding how you react to things and being able to manage the ups and the downs while also taking care of your needs as a person. It’s showing up in life for everything that is important to you and also serves you in positive ways. It’s letting go of the things which are harmful for your well-being and not beating yourself up over this. It’s having bad days and going with the ebb and flow of life. It’s relapsing and picking yourself up off the ground. It’s reaching out to people because you need a hand. It’s being honest with yourself, trusting yourself, respecting yourself.
It’s important, really really really important.
You are important.
YOU ARE WORTH IT. ALL OF IT. ALWAYS.