I am writing this post with lots of excitement since the content is a cause that is very close to my heart and because of that, I wanted to release a kit of pretty stickers called Self-Love, that you can use to create and celebrate awareness and to share some of the things that I have found out about my own mental health and awareness. When I found out that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I jumped into action to work on something that I have been meaning to do for a while. Besides the usual fun part of the post, I wanted to share information that could be useful and can come handy and if combined with the practice of planning, it can be beneficial for you or a loved one. Statistics show that 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. *Source: April 2018 Edition of Shape Magazine.
Allow me to share a little about my own diagnostic, with the warning that I am not a doctor, nor an expert and that everything that I am sharing here has to do with my own experiences and my attempt to fight a mental condition that was debilitating who I was and was affecting every single aspect of my life. See, I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety and was told that I had to be on medications for the rest of my life. The details of how I found out about my diagnosis and the path that I had to go through to get there are not relevant for this post, although I can assure you that they were not pretty and by no means, easy. It was rough and sad, lonely and extremely confusing because I did not know what was wrong and how bad I was affected. Me, I was bubbly and happy (or so I thought) with a strong family support and successful and hard worker but there was something not quite clicking, and I had no idea what it was.
I tried taking prescription medications and I really did not see any improvements, other than the fact that the meds were changing my personality and I was showing symptoms of Manic/Depression which is a very common occurrence when you take mood enhancing meds, so I was literally “faking” my behavior to cure one thing. I was not happy with that, either. So one day, I made the decision that what was lacking in my life was a purpose, a goal, a PLAN. So I started planning. Planning going to the gym, then planning my meals, then planning my workouts. I became a gymrat and was seeing awesome results and with that a total transformation of who I was and more importantly, whom I was allowing near me. I became very aware of my surroundings and by a process of elimination, got rid of everything, anything and EVERYONE that was not making me happy. I purged clothes, things, situations and “friends”.
Literally, by simplifying my life of what I did not need, I took care of my mental issues and started seeing how those dramatic moves made room for new opportunities, I started allowing the good in my life and shed a lot of the negative and the bad. Without knowing it, I created a radar that can detect anything drama and I make clear and conscious choices to separate from that. Today, I am in the best relationship that I could have ever dreamt. I love who I see in the mirror every day because that person battled the battles to save me from a downward spiral that was paralyzing me from functioning and enjoying the happy life that I was meant to live.
Before I make this too long, I wanted to remind you that you must make time for yourself and the things that matter the most. You must take care of yourself first, you must allow yourself to be picky with whom you allow near you, you are valuable and unique, and you should always put yourself first. Once you realize that the years ahead of you should be surrounded with quality and most importantly, peace and that you are in charge of bringing that peace to yourself, you should start planning how to put those wheels in motion to recreate your best live ever.
I hope you enjoy my post and please, please share your thoughts on this post, on the stickers or even your own experiences, I would love to hear from you!