Blazer: Swapped — Camisole: Goodwill — Skirt: Gift — Boots and earrings: Hand-me-down — Bracelet: Solano Stroll
Hey there, friends and relations and mortal enemies! It’s World Mental Health Day! How ’bout that?
I’ve been pretty open over the past year or so about my experiences with depression and anxiety–while relatively mild, they were still affecting my quality of life, and this year I finally summoned up the courage to start therapy and antidepressants. My experiences have mostly been positive (other than over the weekend, when I ran out of pills unexpectedly and my healthcare provider was unable to assist me), and just about everybody in my life has been really kind and supportive, which helps a lot.
It also doesn’t hurt that many of my immediate family members also deal with depression, many to a much greater extent than I do, and they’ve been really positive influences on me in understanding how difficult it can be, but how important it is to try anyway.
I haven’t experienced much stigma as a result of my mental health issues–the ways in which they limit me have mostly been internal–but that’s not the case for a lot of folks, especially people with more severe or misunderstood conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ED, and others. If you don’t experience mental illness in some capacity, I highly encourage you to listen to people who do, particularly those who have been brave enough to really be open in detailing their journeys. (This is not to say that those who don’t share about their mental illnesses are not brave; that’s a highly personal choice and not one that I’m about to judge. Be gentle with yourself.)
One example, which my friend and co-blogger at Nisaba Be Praised Tito turned me onto, is artist Khale McHurst’s ongoing comic, “I Do Not Have An Eating Disorder,” which explores not only her experiences with anorexia, but also with depression, anxiety, and other comorbid conditions. It’s a very intense work, and includes trigger warnings for self-harm and suicidal ideation, but her depictions of thinking distortions are some of the best that I’ve seen.
To friends and readers who are living with mental health disorders, I’m going to say things that you’ve probably heard many times before: try to be kind to yourself, try to roll with the setbacks, and try not to worry if your journey is not a perfect upward trend. You have worth, you have meaning, and you are capable of more than you think. Take care, y’all. ❤