Mental Health Awareness Questions ( Kim C.)

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1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

· In my childhood, I’ve witnessed certain things but didn’t know there was a term for it. Once I got into high school, I found myself in a very dark space. I had never really been so low and down and out until then. I remember not being sure how to explain myself and when I did, no one understood me. My family didn’t get it, my friends didn’t get it, and my teachers didn’t get it. Once, my aunt tried to have a talk with me because my mom was at her wits end and I can tell she was disappointed in me but at the time I sincerely didn’t know how else to explain the sadness, darkness, and anxiety I felt. When I realized that no one would ever understand, I made the decision to hold it to myself. Sadness was meant for bedtime which meant my nights were going to be long. Full of pain and crying.

· I took Introduction to Psychology as an elective when I transferred high school. It wasn’t until then that I realized that there was a term for what I had been feeling all along. Depression. Anxiety. By then it was too late for me to tell my parents. I didn’t trust anyone at this point. So I held onto my own thoughts, my own feelings, and I would still let the nights take over.

· When I was a sophomore in college, I began therapy. I had 1 teacher/counselor who I was able to talk to and it was solely because he saw the signs. He saw me struggling to keep it together. He called a meeting with me and reached out to a therapist he knew personally. I ended up doing sessions at least once a week and it helped me get better. It was difficult, but it was the best thing I could have ever done.

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge?

· Yes! In fact, I found out that mental illness is in my family. I have close family members who were diagnosed with clinical depression, schizophrenia, OCD, and a few other illnesses. I’m very much aware that there are some mental health issues within in my family which is why I do my best to reach out and speak up when I feel myself spiraling downward or am simply mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. I even check up on them from time to time to make sure they’re doing ok.

3. If so, how was it growing up?

· When I was a child, I wasn’t aware that mental health was a thing. I didn’t know there was a name for it. When things were great, they were great. When they weren’t so great, then it just wasn’t great. I’ve had many of days/nights of crying and not understanding why and what was wrong. I’ve witnessed certain behaviors as a child that left me clueless at the time. Overall, my childhood was ok but when mental illness isn’t treated, those around you suffer with you. So if you’re a parent, friend, or partner, please seek the professional help to get better for those who truly love you and most importantly, for yourself.

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental intact?

· I’m into so many different things but something that helps the most is reading. I read self-care book, fictional books, or story boards. Reading books or stories gives me access into another world. It temporarily takes me away from my reality. I listen to music that is uplifting, I write (poetry, stories…), play games, and recently I’ve been getting more into the fashion and cosmetology world. Learning a new skill keeps me on my toes. It’s safe and fun for me.

5. What does mental health awareness mean to you?

· Acknowledging that everyone is not ok and that is ok. Being conscious that someone’s “funny acting” behavior can potentially be a cry for help or a symptom of a mental illness. Be patient. Be kind. Be empathetic. Be sympathetic. If it were you, you’d want and need those things too.

Toy Drive Recap/ Blog Update.

Hello everyone!! I’m happy to be back! I wanted to give a brief summary about the Toy Drive yesterday! People have been asking about it and I’m soo grateful for all of the positive feedback that I’ve been receiving. Please enjoy and share!! #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

Music By: Like (From PacDiv) “Gabriel” (2018) A very fire Beat tape. Go check this out!

My Weekend Recap.

Hello guys. These last few days have been busy for me. Thursday, I went to check out a creative space that I had been researching for a while now. For the first time in a while, I felt like I was doing something that was going to change my life in a great way. The amount of professionalism an office space brings is remarkable. For my team, I think it’ll bring us more people to work with as well as an outlet for us to work even harder. For me, personally, it’ll bring me a piece of mind. I often stress about how I’m not motivated when working from home. It brings too many distractions. Every day, I search for ways to change the way my life is going. I grind every day like I don’t have anything to lose, just so much to gain. Some might say that I overwhelm myself but, in reality, I just want more for myself. Seeing that space gave me the drive to work harder and to fully brand myself.

Also, this weekend, I went to The Revolt Summit. I was there all three days and I couldn’t be more motivated. I saw an ad about the summit a month ago and I just knew I needed to be there. I spent pretty much the last of my check for a pass. Some would say that I wasn’t thinking logically but I saw it as an investment for my future. I didn’t know what I was doing and what exactly I was going to gain from the experience, but I knew it’ll change something within me. Plus, you never know who you’ll meet. I met some amazing career driven individuals. I exchanged information with some as well. I learned a few things that weekend. One thing I learned is to always believe in what you’re doing, and others will follow. I really didn’t know what exactly I wanted to gain from the summit until I started to talk to others about my vision. I received some great feedback from others as well as suggestions on how to make my vision even better. I even received praise for what I trying to do and that made me feel confident about what I was trying to accomplish.

There were quite a few gems I heard over the weekend, but my favorite was to KNOW YOUR WORTH. As a creative, a lot of people tend to shortchange your work. A lot of what we do takes a lot of time, money and effort to accomplish. If I’m a photographer, for example, I had to buy my camera, buy the equipment as well as the editing software I need for touching my pictures up. That could become very costly. Not to mention how much time is put into the pictures. Time is the most valuable thing of all. If your friend is hosting an event, nothing about that is free. Why would you assume you could attend for free if the flyer states otherwise? You should want to purchase tickets unless told otherwise. Let that person get in a position where they can afford for their loved ones to attend everything at a discount. Your worth feels compromised if you don’t say anything. You avoid losing a lot of money by speaking up. Real friends and supporters will still be there regardless. It’s OK with giving a discount of your work from the beginning but at some point, essentially profit from it.

After this weekend, I want to help others more than ever. I’m ready to get my vision out there and to work with others to accomplish theirs. I respect everyone’s craft and I’m always willing to support. For those who are reading this, I want you to know that you can do anything you put your mind to. It’s also ok to say no. Don’t feel bad about that because you have to do what’s best for you sometimes. Don’t let people shortchange your dream when it’s so valuable to you. Lastly, be your biggest fan. My grandmother once told me, “People value self-worth.”  Confidence is everything. Once people see how much you value what you do the support will follow. I hope by reading this you know that believing in yourself is key. You just have be patient and have faith. #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

Life Lessons.

“Everything happens for a reason.” This is something we’ve been told our whole lives. What does this even mean? This can mean a lot of different things. One thing I learned over time is sometimes you’re not meant to find out. That’s the lesson. Life lessons are things we learn over time that teach of something. Whether it’s a skill or an unspoken rule to life, it’s not something that was created by chemicals. These things are usually created by experiences.

I’m learning a lot about myself lately and it’s great. I spent a lot of my life not understanding my own personality traits. I couldn’t tell you why I felt a certain way or why I did things. Sometimes I still couldn’t tell you, but I learned that I’m unpredictable at times. It’s in my genes. I can’t control it a times and that’s OK. We must learn that we can’t always be in control. We must embrace who we are and work on what we fault within ourselves. Everyone needs some type of guidance. We can’t always rely on self. That’s been my biggest lesson I’ve had to learn.

I grew up pretending that I could do everything on my own with no outside help. This isn’t realistic. I put so much pressure on myself this way. I never like to depend on others or anything especially mental health. I thought only I could truly make me happy. Only I could truly love and care about me. This was a toxic thought process that I had to overcome. I realized over time that I needed others. I needed people to help me when I was behind in my work. I needed people to talk to. I needed guidance. I needed someone to look up to. I didn’t really have this growing up. I don’t blame anyone for this. This was the cards I was dealt, and I needed to embrace it. My family tried but I wasn’t willing to except my life for what it was. I was broken and didn’t know what pieces I was missing.

I was on this spiritual roller coaster too. I never questioned that a higher being existed I just never fully invested in the theory. When my mom passed this changed. I talked to him (or her, you choose) and he delivered in actions. This is why I live by, “actions speak louder than words.” He doesn’t talk to me; he shows me, and I listen. This helps me. This brings structure to my life. What speaks to you? Try taking the things you learned from life and embracing them. Own them. I learn a lot by writing notes to myself. Find something you’re into and relate them back to you as a person.

In conclusion, I just want to state this: I am not who I am today without my adversity. The life lessons I required over the years have changed how I view everything. I’m not optimistic like I use to be. A former US Senator, once said, “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.” Learn to embrace everything that happens and be willing to grow. #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

The Life of an Unemployed Hard Worker.

It’s been three days since being laid off; Maybe four… The days just seem way longer. I’ve been working since I was 17. No long-term breaks, just vacations and mental days. It’s the weekend now and although I didn’t work on weekends, I still feel like I need to grind. The weekend doesn’t feel the same without a job. It all feels like wasted time, like I should be out here searching for something. My friends and family keep telling me to use this time to rest, but my mind won’t allow me to. My mind is constantly trying to figure things out, constantly trying to solve things. People that don’t know or understand me doesn’t know how this is affecting me. People don’t know how hard I work; how hard I grind. People see me as a woman, with no kids with potential to do great things. This may be true but right now I only see a failure.

I’m fully aware that I’m being hard on myself; It’s almost unhealthy. I just don’t like getting comfortable with being down. I try to be up as long as time will allow me to be. This transition is normal to people but for me, it feels very foreign; like my life shouldn’t be like this. As much as I try to tell myself that everything is going to be fine, it doesn’t feel like it right now. My situation is different than a lot of people that has been laid off. I actually have others that were let go with me. As bad as this sounds, it makes me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone. I know that being laid off wasn’t my fault. This also makes me sad because I often worry about the others. I know if I feel down and out then some might feel the same if not, worse. I carry too much on my shoulders and its weighing me down.

The most important part about this situation is the amount of support and compassion others have shown. I honestly think that without my love ones I would be really down. The compassion has given me motivation. You never know what being nice does for others. A friend called me yesterday to ask how I was. I usually just say “I’m good, and you?” but I wasn’t good. Sometimes you really need to tell others how you’re actually feeling so you can get the help you need. I never been the one to tell people my true thoughts and feelings. I never think people actually cared. I was wrong. You’ll be surprised how many people ACTUALLY care. I have to learn that fully. I never want to be a burden on others so I hold a lot in. That’s a toxic trait. It’s toxic towards yourself. You hurt yourself when you don’t express your feelings. I won’t even get into what that could do for your loved ones. Sometimes trying to do things on your own or holding issues in can rob you of your own happiness.

Writing is my favorite hobby. It’ll keep me busy until I find my new journey. I’m more motivated than ever to share my story. I was embarrassed at first, but now I know that others may need my story more then I need to keep it a secret. Being in a healthy mind state is being open. You can’t heal if you’re not open to help. You can’t figure out everything by yourself. This I something I’m learning daily. I hope you’re reading this and realizing that talking to your friends helps. Thank you for allowing me to be open. #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike