As yesterday was World Mental Health Day it got me thinking about my own journey over the past 13 ½ years, and learning that by sharing some of the toughest and darkest days of my life with others can bring hope to someone who is also suffering. I often think back moments before I am writing a blog, speaking or sharing with someone one on one, of what it used to what it used to be like, and how, back then, I could have never have imagined myself talking publicly, or at all, about things that I, or society, may deem as negative or weak. I, before seeking help, felt shame about my mental health and how I was living my life, I was worried about being labeled crazy, but as I started to get better and took steps to make the changes necessary to have the life I live today I realized the power of my words, and all of our words, have the power to heal, and those days when we felt our hearts might break, or couldn’t take anymore, may, later, fill someone’s heart with the hope they need to move forward.
It’s always easier to look back at life and see the purpose of events or people who have been in our lives. Not everyone and everything may become clear to us, but those big events, those things that may changed our course, changed our view or position, may have needed to happen to get us where we needed to go, or, where we are right now. I survived a suicide attempt that I shouldn’t have, I struggled with the guilt of why I was still here, even though, after I had done it, I had regretted it thinking at that moment that there was no turning back, so when I survived, I asked myself, why was I still here? And, in my experience, when I ask the questions the answers come, they may not come on my timeline, but they will when I am meant to know them. For me, the answer was, I am here to be of service, to share my story with those who may be struggling or thinking that suicide is the only way to stop their pain, it is not. And I also know from my experience, that no one’s message gets through like someone who has been through what you have or are going through. There is power in my story and experience, and I have taken my power back from the most difficult day of my life and turned it into a message of hope, and I am not unique, you all have the ability to do the same, to take something you may have thought was negative, and perhaps was, and turn it into a beacon of hope for someone else. None of us get a free ride and walk through life without challenges, and many walk in silence because they are afraid to speak their truth, but by sharing yourself with someone you give them permission to do the same, and that permission may be the first step on their journey to recovery, it was for me when someone shared their story with me 14 years ago.
What we’ve walked through has value, not only to us, but those around us. We are all more alike than not alike, and when we open a dialogue about who we are and where we’ve come from we realize just how linked we all are and how many common experiences we have, which in turn, makes us feel less alone and more connected to those around us. I am a big proponent of looking for seemingly negative moments, struggles or aspects of my life, and turning them into positives, something that can help heal or connect with someone like myself. We all have the power to turn what may have been heartache into something that heals hearts, including your own. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you keep or hide aspects of your life that you think are negative or shameful? Why do you think you need to do that? Have you been told to do that? By whom? When you do share one of those things how do you feel after? Have you been able to connect with others who may have had the same or similar experiences? How does that feel? What is your darkest secret? Why do you think you can’t tell anyone? How do you think you would feel if you did? Is there someone in your life you could tell? Tell them SLAYER, be honest about who you are and your journey so far, we are all works in progress, and each challenge is meant to teach us something and guide us to the next part of the path, by keeping it to yourself you are stalling your progress on that road. Find the courage to share your truth, you never know how that may open the door to road you never knew was there.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you