being, living

The Importance of Mental Health

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

– Juliette Lewis

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I am generally aware that most of my posts stem from one specific class that I’m taking this semester, but I find the need to share what I have learned in that class because it is helping me in many various ways that only I can describe. So, without further ado, let’s talk about mental health.

This is going to be a much heavier post. I’m going to be talking about my experiences and telling you what I’ve learned along the way. It’s not going to be lighthearted, not one bit. I’m saying this, not to scare you, but to really show you the darkness of poor mental health. Hopefully, through my story, you can see that mental health is not a joke, but I also hope that you can see that you are not alone and that there are a lot of people out there going through similar situations. I pray that you will find light in your darkest of times.

My Story

So, I’ve grown up in a very stable household in a nice school, only going through a little bit of bullying. I tell you this to show that not everyone who has mental health problems have had a terrible childhood. In fact, for quite a while, I felt guilty because I was experiencing all of these thoughts and emotions and I grew up in a loving and supportive place.

At the end of eighth grade, I started to feel depressed. I felt that I wasn’t cared for, that no one loved me. I started looking towards self harm. There have been times where I would snap a rubber band on my wrist. I told my mom my feelings. I eventually got therapy. Now therapy didn’t exactly help at that certain time, but I use a lot of what I learned in therapy now.

Soon after, in around tenth grade, I slowly, but surely became anorexic (which I will further explain on Wednesday). I wouldn’t eat and I would obsessively exercise. This is one area that I am currently still struggling in.

In eleventh grade, I tried to kill myself…twice. Both times, I was in a really bad mindset and to get out of that mindset, I decided to take a bath. Well, when I’m feeling suicidal and surrounded by water, my mind instantly goes to drowning. So, I tried to drown myself. Of course, that plan didn’t exactly work out as I am still alive and writing this today.

I am still not entirely healed, and that’s okay. What I’ve learned through my five-ish years of depression is that it’s okay to feel this way. It’s okay to feel. All of my feelings are valid, but instead of using my feelings to lead me, I have learned that it’s important to breathe through it and figure out what my body needs.

I’m not saying this to say that my experience is the “end all be all,” I’m just here to tell you that I am one of many people who go through these types of experiences. I’m so lucky that I have only had to deal with five years of depression and not more. I’m lucky that my anorexia didn’t last longer and that I found the resources when I did.

How I Got Through It

This is what has worked for me, it may not work for you.

Find a Spiritual Practice

Find a spiritual practice that really speaks to you. In this post, I talk about how I have converted to Christianity. It’s what honestly works best for me. Before I became Christian, I considered myself Wiccan. Now, as much as I absolutely adore this spiritual craft, it wasn’t exactly what I needed. For me, I need structure. I need someone to pray to. And I need something where I don’t decide what happens. I need God to decide what happens. When I put all of my worries unto God, I feel like a 500 pound weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Develop a Growth Mindset

This one, I think, was the hardest for me to learn. I kept saying “I can’t,” and that is so toxic to your mental health. Add the word “yet” to “I can’t” and I promise that what you experience will be enlightening and powerful. Read more about it here.

Be Mindful

In this class that I continue to write about, we are talking about mindfulness and self-talk. Whenever we notice a negative or threatening thought, we had to write it down and show compassion to ourselves. What I’ve learned most from this assignment is that most of my negative thoughts are connected to my physical well-being. For example, when I have low blood sugar, I tend to become very apathetic, which for me, is a negative thought. Paying attention to my thoughts and my body, has shown me this connection. I challenge you to notice what thoughts you are having and what is also going on in your body as these thoughts come up. This will allow you to initiate self-compassion and self-love.

Don’t forget to share on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and wherever else you are social!

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Lots of love,

Meghan ❤

Related posts: Slow Living: How I Want to Live a Slower Life | My Morning Skincare | For the Love of Being Outdoors |

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