Mental Health Awareness Submission (Sonia R. )

“The first time I felt like killing myself was when I was 10 years old. I’ve struggled with my health since I was a baby and I remember being angry at God cuz he made me suffer so much, I was constantly in & out of clinics and any kind of healers my parents came across. I remember telling my mom I wanted to die and wanting reassurance and support from her, to be told I was loved. Instead, she told every family member she could that I wanted to die, not sure what she got out of doing it. From then on, I knew I didn’t have anyone else to support me emotionally, I guess that’s when I realized mental health was a thing.

My dad was always working. My mother was a stay at home wife until I was 15, she was always occupied with things that weren’t me. That was normal to me. I didnt see it as if my parents had any mental issues growing up. They were good providers, I never went hungry, always had a roof over my head and clothes on my back. They just lacked emotional intelligence but that also had to with how they were raised.

As an adult, I struggle with depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts when stressed. I hate antianxiety meds cuz they make me feel too suicidal to function. I take mental health days as often as I can and keep in touch with the few close friends that I have. My creative outlets include sewing, painting, cooking/baking, and I work on learning new ways to create with different mediums.

Mental awareness to me means being mindful about your own mind and your actions. I can only speak for myself but I’m constantly in my head so i try to check myself. I like to think that my conscience keeps me in line. You gotta be the change you wanna see in the world right?”

Sonia R.

IG & Twitter: @sony_is_awesome

Mental Health Awareness Questions (Ariel P.)

Instagram: @_naturallyari__
Twitter: @TheNormalGirl2

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

⁃ “I Honestly Cant Remember How Old I Was When I Realized Mental Health Was A Thing. It’s Always Been Around But Never Really addressed Time Be Honest All The Information & Understanding I Have on Mental Heath Come From Me Bring Old Enough To Research & Going To Find Answers.”

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge? 3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ “So My Dad Has bipolar He Was Diagnosed When I was A Baby. He Actually Went In & Out Of Mental Institutions While I was A Small Child & Constantly Had Mental Break downs Throughout my child hood I really didn’t know something was wrong with him because it just wasn’t talked about in our house hold at all. I remember when I was like 11 he woke up in the middle of the night taking our common house hold items like you know our iron & like vacuum & told me & my mom he was gonna sell it & we were gonna be rich that’s when I really realized he was different before that he was just my dad I mean he was in & out but that was normal for me.”

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ “growing up with my dad was so much fun when he was there he’s the reason I love the beach so much he was always taking us somewhere he’s was always funny he cooked a lot but I mean him & my mom together was a lot so much so I preferred him when he was gone. Yeah He Had His Manic moments but I think having kids young, him & my mom not getting along, & him not always making good money in addition to him self medicating & not taking his medication like the doctors prescribed really took a toll on him”

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

⁃ “Now Knowing All That I Know About Mental Illness’s & Mental Health I Make Sure I Listen To Myself Taking A Break When I Need, Distancing When I Need Too, Reaching Out When I Need Too. I Make The Effort To Take The informations I Have & Teach My Kids so They Don’t Have To Guess Like I Did. I’ve Been To Therapy I’ve taken my oldest son to therapy & I take great pride in that. It’s a dark cloud in the black community. We’re scared to talk about it to acknowledge it to find solutions & I try to stop that cycle by doing better in my family.”

5. What does Mental Health Awareness mean to you?

⁃ “Mental Health Means Community To Me Because That’s What We Need To See It Through To The Other Side. We Need To Stick Together, Support Those In Need & Most Of All Not Sweep It Under the Rug Like We’ve Done So many Years.”

Mental Health Awareness challenge ❤️

I figured I’ll start the month off with a few thoughts of my own. Hopefully this encourages all of you to express what mental health awareness means to you. Enjoy ❤️ #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

Remember if you’ll like to be featured this month for the, “What does mental health awareness mean to you?” challenge, feel free to reach out to me on any social media outlet! #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

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