When I was younger, my father always use to tell me, “when you fall off your horse, get back up.” I have always got back on the horse, and gotten stronger, until this past semester; I found myself not being able to get back up. For a long time I was afraid to get help. I didn’t want to be that person, I didn’t want to believe that I wasn’t okay. I always wanted to be perceived as the strong-willed young woman who persisted no matter what. For years I kept things compartmentalized, I ignored my feelings, I never healed. I never grieved my losses, and I never faced the emotions of things I was going through. Now, I am twenty years old, and I am broken and lost. I realize now that doing that was not healthy and only ended up hurting myself in the long run. So here it is, it’s okay to not be okay. But most importantly, it is important to get the help you need. MENTAL HEALTH is important, because your life is important.
There is more to self-care than getting your nails done, face masks or retail therapy. It’s much deeper than that. It is allowing yourself to go through the ugly, draining and exhausting healing process. Self-care is being honest, kind, loving and patient with yourself. Self-care is not judging yourself in order to grow and be a better you. Learning to love yourself is hard, and learning to love life is hard. Having the will-power to want to wake up everyday is hard, having the strength to do every day things is hard and having the motivation to keep going is hard. But nothing feels greater than taking the first step to wanting to find the light in all the darkness. Just because I took that first step, I know there is hope. I know that with time and work, things will get better. Seeking professional help is a brave thing to do, but it saved my life. I am a strong advocate for mental health; no one deserves to feel helpless or desperate. I hope anyone who is hurting finds something to set their heart on fire and keeps going. Take care of yourself and love yourself. There may be millions of reasons to end it all, but there is always a million plus one reasons to keep fighting. Do it for you, keep fighting, get back on the horse, and chose life. I am a survivor and I choose life now and forever.