self-love

Why We Shouldn't Shy Away from the Importance of Mental Health

You never really know how important your mental health is until it is tested. It creeps up on you out of nowhere. I have had many battles with my mental health since middle school. I would be so ashamed that I thought something was seriously wrong with me and that I would be judged for feeling this way. Why are we so afraid? Are we alone in this world when it comes to issues with our mental health? Should we hide how we're truly feeling? Why seek help? Why reach out? Because. We have one life, and we should do everything in our power to uplift one another and make our body, mind, and soul the best it can be.

purple ribbon domestic violence awareness month Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

I recently had a big battle with my mental health right before the end of my first quarter at Central Washington University. I was sad but I could not understand why. I did not have a reason to be sad, I was doing amazing in school, making friends the best I could with the circumstances of COVID-19, and was getting ready to head home for the long break. What a lot of people do not realize is you can be sad for no reason. It could be it's not fully presenting it in a clear manner. I was taking what I knew were “depression naps.” I felt exhausted from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning.  I was pushing myself to be “alive.” It got to a point that my roommate was gone for the night and I just felt hopeless, worthless, and questioned, “why am I even around?” I had felt like this long ago back in high school, but I did not think it would ever pop up like this out of the blue yet again. I remember just balling my eyes out thinking if I did something a lot of people would miss me, right? The answer is always yes. You're never alone as much as your mind wants to tell you it is.

I went home for break thinking that it would be a snap back to my normal happy self, back home to Mom and my best friends. I still felt stuck. Even though everyone was happy to see me, I was not seeing it and felt like I did not get the welcome and love that I was wanting. I got so into my head that it made me sick for about a week. I did not get out of bed, no energy, could not eat, just had that feeling again of “why, why am I even here?”. Was it my fault for feeling like this? I still don’t have the answer. But what I do know is that it teaches you a lot about yourself. I finally shared with my friends about the tough times I was having, and I felt like I was going to burden them with how I was feeling and my sob story of what I thought was nothing.  When I told them, they were all understanding, comforting, and asked me, “why didn’t you tell us?” I just felt shocked because I never really open up about tough things that I go through because I’m not the type of person who wants to have anyone listen to my problems. All of them heard what I had to say and really listened to me. When I finished telling them everything, they looked at me and let me know that no matter how far apart we are we can always count on one another to be there big or small.

Why should we not be afraid to talk? Because in moments like these we have friends that will do anything to be there and just listen. Do not let the two words, mental health makes you fearful to open. It's okay to not always be okay. We're worth living in this world no matter how down and alone we feel. It's one moment that we can come out of the dark and into the light and really shine. 

Dedicated to the people that make life worth it every single day, my Mother, Staci Richardson, and my best friends, Jacob Smith, Kameron Gravelle, and Kiaya Swartz.  Thanks for saving me when I need it.  I love you all.