Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 1949, the United States has viewed May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Growing up, the only awareness month that I knew about was breast cancer in October. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon an Instagram post by Melissa Benoist (CW’s Supergirl) last fall that I found out about a non-profit called IDONTMIND. “IDONTMIND is a mental health awareness program, working to break down the barrier of stigma and to bring help to those that need it. Our goal is to get people talking about their minds, and to generate positive messaging about mental health.”
At the time, they were selling t-shirts to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and I decided to purchase one to add my money to the support. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that I really needed to see those words.
I grew up hearing older people ask me why I’m so quiet and I was made to feel that being introverted, being different, was a bad thing! And it’s totally not! It took me awhile to realize but it’s completely okay to talk about your feelings. It’s okay to talk about your good days and your bad days. It’s okay to seek help when you need it. It’s okay to take medicine and see therapists.
I have to always remind myself that my anxiety and my fears don’t define me, even though it may feel like it. And on the days where my natural ingredient anxiety reducing remedies don’t work, it’s okay to take something pharmaceutical.
It’s okay to not be okay.
I’ve learned from Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins (CW’s Supernatural) that depression, introversion, or self-harm (I’ve never done it myself) doesn’t define a person, and that you should always keep fighting and to love yourself through all the bad.
Had I known that May was this awareness theme long ago, I would’ve been more vocal about it, but it’s never too late to start! I encourage everybody, including myself, to embrace their mind and to end the stigma of talking about their mental health. It’s one thing to take care of yourself physically, but you have to do it mentally as well.
Your mind matters. Talk about it.