Wednesday, November 11, 2015

28th Wellness Wednesdays - My Fight Song - #IAMSTIGMAFREE

#IamStigmaFree: Here are the questions we were asked to prepare for our interviews. Wanted to share my original thoughts from paper since I'm not always so eloquent in speaking. Italicized added thoughts.
More of my story here

PHOTOGRAPHY BY // Martha Keyes


How does your illness or disorder affect your daily life?  I get irritable with my family easily, sometimes feeling like no one cares enough to help me and then feeling overwhelmed trying to do it all, but having no energy to start or knowing where to start. I have to fight everyday to not feel this way, but I'm grateful that I have hope again for the future right now. I feel like everyone is tugging on me and I can't keep my head straight to focus on one thing. When I feel that way, then when my family asks for things I get overwhelmed and lost.

What advice would you give to someone living with your same illness? Communicate with your loved ones. For me I have to communicate with my husband and children and try to explain how I’m feeling. Some key words I gave to my husband to say when I feel like I'm falling into a sinkhole. He says, "That must be frustrating," after I share my thoughts, trying to explain what's wrong. I always feel a little silly saying all the things that's happened that day that triggered my feelings of overwhelmedness, but it's so hard to explain sometimes. I just feel like the floor was sucked out under me.
If you don’t live with family, make sure you have really supportive friends that you can turn to when you need to talk. Without a few really supportive friends in high school, I’m not sure I would have made it.
It’s been a little over a year now since I wanted to see myself to be brave to take better care of myself so that I can manage my depression better, start sharing my experiences with others so I could never get so low as feeling I was falling into a sink hole back like I did in February 2014.
My fighting for myself and being brave everyday includes Self Care: Sacred 10 or a Morning Routine. For me those things include using essential oils, essential vitamins and supplements, reading and taking action on personal development books and scriptures, and participating in yoga. When I take care of myself, it’s easier to take care of others. Of course some days are better than others. Take it one step at a time. I’ve added things to my self-care a little at a time in the last year. I’m still a work in progress.

Why is it important for you and others to be stigma free? It’s important to be stigma free so that people won’t be scared to seek support, share their feelings. I’ve dealt with depression since at least high school; some years were worse than others. It took me 10+ years to even tell my parents and other family members. Once I was able to make that step, it became easier little by little to tell more people and share my story. I get scared and anxious every single time I prepare to share my deep struggles with others. I hate that ball of tangled fishing line feeling I have in my chest and don’t want to feel like that when I want to share my story with others, worrying about what someone thinks – thinking that I’m making this up or that I want people to feel sorry for me.
I want to see you be brave; so more can do so too.

Help spread awareness and break the stigma on mental health with these brave women who have shared these stories. We've made it on LDS Daily =)
Be brave, share your story - "say what you want to say and let the words fall out..." - Sarah Bareillis "Brave"

We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. - Russel M. Nelson
Click on the photo for his full talk.

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