Why I'm Still Here
It is not weak to ask for help. Especially if you have had no voice, it takes great strength to use it to say you're struggling. I am here to share my story and create a community where everyone can have a voice.
With this post, I wanted to share a little bit about me, my journey, and how I found my way back to wellness to be where I am today.
How Stigma Held Me Back
I am here because I almost wasn’t. I ignored my mental health for as long as I could because I wanted to achieve in everything else first, and when I finally couldn’t ignore my eating disorder anymore, the road back to health was a very long and uncomfortable one that I hope by sharing my experiences and mental health resources, I can encourage others to get help before they reach such a low point. Thinking that I would be seen as weak, or that I would be pitied by my loved ones if I asked for help, I tried to solve my problems alone. I have had previous experiences with a therapist and medication that made me feel horrible and hopeless about trying therapy again, and I had since had more training in psychology and holding therapy, so I thought that helping myself was the best it was going to get for the time being. Knowing that I had to make some changes, I finally started at step one by talking to my doctor and I was able to find and accept help from others.
“It is not weak to ask for help. Especially if you have had no voice, it takes great strength to use it to say you're struggling.”
I let others teach me that I was worthy of compassion and I learned how to have compassion for myself. I hope that by sharing my story, experiences, art, and knowledge, I can encourage others to find compassion for themselves and create a community without stigma, a space of non-judgment, and a space of creative expression around the topic of mental health.
Finding Compassion Through Wellness
Eventually finding my way back to therapy, I got the importance of self-care ingrained into my mind. When I started taking care of my needs first, I was able to accomplish more and feel better about myself holistically. I finally understood, and it make senses, that you need to take care of your own needs before you can do more for others.
I am one who has always put others first, so I never though of myself as lacking compassion, but I truly shared very little of that side with myself. Instead of giving myself a break, I would get stuck in something I had done in the past that wasn't perfect, and planning the future but failing to achieve as much as I hoped. Once I understood that everyone has ups and downs, and that even if I took 2 steps backs, I was leaps and bounds ahead of where I started, I truly found compassion for myself, and gave myself rest instead of punishment.
When I found compassion for myself, I once again found joy in trying new things and creating without the fear of messing up, knowing that I could always try again. I have reconnected with my artistic side as a way to practice wellness, and with this, I have found the happier version of myself and a way to express what I have learned. By trusting the process, I found that self-compassion is self-care, and that I would never be content if I was not forgiving with myself. Now, I want to share what I have learned and what I wish I knew when I started this journey to recovery.
A Few Things I Have Learned Along My Journey
“When I understood that everyone has ups and downs, and that even if I took 2 steps backs, I was leaps and bounds ahead of where I started, I truly found compassion for myself, and gave myself rest instead of punishment.”
Taking care of yourself does not make you selfish or vain, and in-fact, it is necessary to achieve the accomplishments you previously considered more important.
When you are in-touch with your values and priorities, you will find your happiness much quicker.
It is important to challenge the thoughts in your head.
You are deserving of love, food, compassion, support, and more, just because.
Every journey has ups and downs, and even at your lowest low, you are strong enough to work your way up to be your best you.
It is not weak to ask for help. Especially if you have had no voice, it takes great strength to use it to say you're struggling.
You can never be totally content if you are not forgiving with yourself.
Supporting others and letting others support you is a form of self-care.
Wellness is about finding the happy, healthy, and sustainable practices that benefit you.
Practice makes better, but never perfect. Find joy in the practice.