I grew up during a time when there was a much different outlook on mental illness and mental health in general.
It was hugely stigmatized.
It was a secret.
It was not spoken about.
But, not in our home growing up. It was opening discussed.
One of the things I remember my Dad repeating over and over was, “Thoughts. Feelings. Actions”
If you start to THINK a certain thing, you’ll start to FEEL that certain thing, and then you’ll ACT like that certain thing.
Of all the “Dad lectures” I sat through during my formative years, this piece of wisdom has stuck with me throughout my life.
I’m so very thankful that mental health had been a normal topic of conversation in my home because when I developed severe clinical depression shortly after giving birth to my son, I knew I had to talk about it.
Don’t get me wrong….. I tried to hide it for more than a year. I feared I would lose my son. I feared I would be deemed unfit to care for him. EVEN after I had a lifetime of openly talking about mental health.
THAT’S the kind of hold the stigma surrounding mental health has. Even when you KNOW something, when you’re not feeling your best mentally, it’s easy to put off the inevitable.
Finally, I felt so defeated one day, that I broke down in my mom’s lap and she gave me encouragement to call a doctor to get the help I needed.
With medication, I’ve successfully managed my depression for more than 23.5 years. I’m coming up on the mark of living half my life with depression.
I’m open about mental health for a reason. Because the more we talk about it, the less stigma there is surrounding it, and the more people seek the help they SO deserve. Because living with a mental illness is not worth suffering over. Because there are treatments available.
And most importantly, because it’s not your fault. Your brain is just not functioning properly.
The older I’ve gotten, the more “Thoughts. Feelings. Actions” has morphed into a sort of gauge of how I’m doing with my mental health.
If I’m spinning the wheel of self loathing, or self deprecation in my brain and I’m verbalizing and acting those negative thought patterns out, I’m not in a good place and it’s time to make some adjustments.
I’m so thankful for my Dad for drilling that (lovingly) in my head for so many years.
So, how’re you thinking? feeling? acting?
Do you need some support?
Do you need some encouragement?
Do you need someone to talk to that won’t judge you and will listen?
Shoot me a message.
I’m here for you.
I feel so fortunate to be able combine my passions of removing the stigma of the big scary mental health topic along with creating and designing jewelry.
Making jewelry that has meaning and purpose sets my soul on fire, and meeting and connecting to people through our personal stories, fills up my cup.
I am so so so thankful for that! I am so so so thankful for you!