“You are NOT alone”
“End the Stigma”
“Feel your Feelings”
“Your thoughts are not your feelings”
These have become sayings we have started to use more frequently in our every day lives.
We have found a way to give language to something that isn’t always seen or heard.
We the human race, have been able to find words for feelings and implement them into our daily lives.
We have begun to teach them.
We have started movements.
All in hopes of ONE DAY ending the stigma around mental health.
We have come a long way.
We have opened our minds to learn.
We have allowed our hearts to feel.
We have come a long way.
But like with any stigma… there is always more to go.
And as much as I would like to say that ending the stigma will also end the actual mental health itself. That would unrealistic and quite honestly not what we are intending to do at all.
I believe that within this movement its more than just ending a stigma.
I believe it’s about more than that, way more.
If you look around at how far we have come generationally at all the people who are now understanding emotions differently. Who are starting to open up. Who are beginning to realize the impact of our human brains and our human hearts.
Mental Health I believe has always been around.
However, it wasn’t accepted. Which meant it wasn’t talked about.
Generations before us, they didn’t feel safe to discuss feelings.
They were taught that being strong and brave was fighting for your country- and YES that is incredibly brave and there is so much strength within that.
But look how far we’ve come.
We have days dedicated to talking about Mental Health, feelings and emotions.
This is Bravery in our modern day world. This is vulnerability, which is strength.
Today I want to talk about something in relation to this topic in which I feel doesn’t get enough air time.
*deep breathe in…. exhale
I have journeyed through some pretty intense waters recently and at various times of my life.
I have met parts of myself that I never wanted to meet. Who for a long time I shamed and refused to sit with.
I like to refer to this as my darkness.
Years ago, I met her.
I met her at a time that I didn’t have language around understanding her- understanding these emotions I was facing.
I met her again this past year.
I was reminded of all the times I had felt this intense darkness before. Crying at the drop of a hat. Feeling so low and negative. Feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. Feeling anxiety cripple my body. Feelings that I never wanted to feel again took over. They were in the driver seat.
This time it was different though.
This time I had the language around what I was feeling. I had been through this before.
I knew it wouldn’t last…. yet- it kept coming back.
I had done SO MUCH inner work on myself. I had put myself through courses. I go to the gym. I do yoga. I exercise. I eat healthy. I drink my green juices. I am a spiritual person.
Why… was I meeting this darkness again?
how did she come back?
In the midst of some days feeling really good and others feeling like I couldn’t possibly get out of bed…
I started to wonder if there was something really wrong with me. I started to question my mental health. I wondered if and when I would ever climb out of this hole. Out of this darkness.
I was doing ALL THE THINGS…. but still I was sad. I was stressed. I felt lost. I felt lonely. I felt unsure of my future. ….and my heart felt broken. It felt like I was feeling ALL and I mean ALL of my old heartbreaks from the past years at every waking second of the day.
But like I said, this time it was different.
This time I wasn’t drinking.
This time I wasn’t numbing… well trying not to ( chocolate being my comfort )
This time I sat with her. This time I sat in my darkness and FELT literally every single feeling that came to the surface. It was one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever felt.
It constantly felt hard and heavy.
It felt like I was crawling out of my skin DAILY.
And my chest felt like an elephant was perched on it from morning to night.
This time it was different for many reasons.
But this time I learned something I hadn’t learned in the past when these emotions came for a visit.
This time I realized that the darkness I felt as uncomfortable as it was, was my teacher and in a way my healer.
I learned that actually “its okay to not be okay” all of the time.
I learned that being positive everyday isn’t authentic.
I learned that being positive everyday isn’t realistic.
I learned that darkness comes at a phase in life.
I learned my emotions were trying to tell me something.
I learned that I am strong because not only did I sit with those emotions,
I learned to rise above them and find my light.
I learned that by sitting with these emotions for as long as they needed and honouring myself as much as I could every step of the way, gave me a strength I hadn’t ever seen before.
This time was different.
This time I learned my bravery from a new perspective.
This time I learned my strength from a new perspective.
This time I learned to talk about it. To be open and allow others to support me through it.
This was the game changer.
And I think within all of this I realized that the feelings I feel sometimes, others feel too just not all in the same way.
And because I feel things so incredibly deeply, means those are my gifts not my weaknesses.
“It’s okay to not be okay”
In fact it’s more than okay and it’s normal.
This is me writing this today on Bell Lets Talk day for anyone who needs this reminder. Who needs to or wants to hear this.
You, me and us all – we are human beings.
We all have emotions.
We all have feelings.
We all cry.
We all laugh.
We all have a heart that is pure to us.
If you feel sad or alone, that’s okay.
I was there too.
You are allowed to feel however you want to feel.
You are allowed to talk about those feelings with someone you trust.
You are safe to do just that.
To feel them, so you can heal them.
And hey, remember this…..
You are a human who feels deeply.
And although you may not be able to see it right now…
THAT IS YOUR SUPERPOWER.
You are here to help someone else who will one day be feeling the same way you are right now.
Mental Health is no joke.
And though we have come so far, we still have a long way to go.
We still have lots to discuss.
And that’s us creating a beautiful and safe container for us all to be a bit more human.To tune into our empathetic traits. To hold space for those who are struggling.
To honour their journey and to offer love and support in the process.
We are all still learning.
We always will be learning.
“It’s okay to not ALWAYS be okay”
That makes you human.
For more insight on the Bell Lets Talk Day Campaign highly recommend this video below.
BELL LETS TALK VIDEO – Howie Mandel
Together we can do this.