I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a cause that is near and dear to my heart and one that I feel just recently started to get the much-needed attention it deserves. So many people often face the challenges of dealing with mental health issues while fighting the stigma that comes with it.
On a personal note, as an only child I was raised in a very structured and religious home. Whenever I had a problem I was taught, like so many others, to never let anyone see your struggle, pray and believe. However, when I lost a close loved one to suicide, it shook me in ways I didn’t know were possible.
It was at that point that I started to seek more tangible answers. I knew I was broken and my faith wouldn’t be enough to pull me through such a tragedy so I decided to seek professional help. Once I started going to counseling it was like a weight was being lifted off my shoulders. Everything that I’d internalized down through the years came out and my counselor was able to help me make sense of it all.
While faith is an important aspect in my life, I no longer believe it is the sole answer to every situation. I am no longer apprehensive about receiving help with my issues and would encourage anyone that is, not to be. I am thankful for having taken advantage of the alternate resources available and I’m sure that anyone who is hesitant will be too.
You are not alone. Break the silence. End the stigma.