Mental health is something so often that we are fearful to talk about. There is a stigma around it which makes people think if you have a mental health issue that you’re unstable or unpredictable – and that stigma needs to be broken. Almost all of us have known someone who battles anxiety, or depression. Many of us have known someone who has kept their struggles secret until long after they have treated them, or worse we know someone who has taken their own life because they didn’t ever feel they could ever be open about their inner battles.
Recently I sat down with an old friend who opened up about her own battle with anxiety. Her openness and strength inspired me to have the strength to feel a bit more comfortable talking about my own battle with anxiety. I’ve struggled anxiety for years, and at times my extreme anxiety has lead me to become more withdrawn from social situations, and more self-critical than I think anyone should ever be. It’s made me pick apart the words that I say and stress over things that happened years ago. At times, it’s felt like my anxiety has paralyzed me from taking chances, creating new friendships, and achieving my goals.
But my anxiety has also been a gift to me. It’s made me understand people better, and more open to when they tell me about their own struggles. And, it may sound odd to say but it’s even made me stronger. Stronger in my faith in people’s kindness and in surrounding myself with open-minded and loving family and friends. Stronger in my moments of clarity that I don’t want to treat myself that way, and I don’t want anyone else to treat themselves that way. And stronger knowing that when I begin to have my moments of extreme anxiety to seek out help rather than let it take over.
These Be Brave earrings are from Bravelets, a company dedicated to creating pieces that give back. They have a variety of jewelry that you can choose from and for each purchase made Bravelets gives $10 to the charity of your choosing. Today, they are also offering you all a 10% discount on any item in their shop, simply redeem this discount by using the code “UMBRELLA10 ” (Expires 11 / 27 / 2015) at check out. I chose Suicide Awareness because it’s a topic that hits close to home for me. Depression, anxiety and all other mental health struggles are the silent diseases that no one ever really wants to address. I’ve heard people say that depression makes you feel like you’re walking alone, but I think if we were all a bit more open and a bit more accepting we could walk together and build one another up. I hope that you will all be brave – be brave enough to share your story, and be brave enough to step in when you’re concerned.
Today on Instagram I’ll be sharing what makes me feel brave, join the conversation and hashtag #BraveYourself so I can see what makes you feel a bit braver each and every day.