Nothing Can Change If We Don't Talk About It

Nothing Can Change If We Don't Talk About It

I believe the more we talk, and don’t stop talking, we all can change the stigma surrounding mental health.
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I’ve received so many messages from people after posting my last article (if you haven’t read it you can check it out here), thanking me for being able to say what they haven’t been able to; for making them realize they aren’t alone and for putting words to the feelings so many of us struggle with. But after reading all of the messages it made me realize something important, something many of us forget: nothing can change if we don't talk about it.

Struggling with mental health is hard in and of itself, but it’s even harder when you struggle alone. You feel trapped, like no one could ever possibly understand what you’re going through. And for those that don’t suffer from mental illnesses, maybe they won’t ever completely understand the way we feel and that we don’t have a say in how we feel. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and explain it to the best of our abilities, no matter how hard it is.

Mental health is one of those things that is not discussed enough. Many feel ashamed to admit they struggle with their own mind and can’t seem to take control; they don’t want others to look down on them or see them as impaired. I didn’t talk about my mental health issues for years, for the exact same reasons. I didn’t want others to pity me, I didn’t want them to think I was fragile and broken. I didn’t want anyone to think of me differently.

But I’ve come to realize those that are really there for you won’t think of you differently. They won’t care that you struggle, but will instead try to offer their support to the best of their abilities. Those that make you feel bad for expressing your thoughts and feelings or just tell you it’s “all in your head” and to “get over it” are the people you shouldn’t have in your life. One of the best things you can do when you’re struggling with your mental health is to surround yourself with people who will listen and be there for you, not try and make you feel inferior for you feelings.

But in order to surround ourselves with those people we need to talk. We need to be open about how we feel, we need to not feel ashamed of the way our mind works. In order to get the help, support, and love we need, we need to talk and not stop talking. We need to be honest with ourselves and others, we need to do our best to help others who don’t understand try to understand how we feel. In order for things to change, we need to talk.

I’m sick of the negative stigma that surrounds mental health. I’m sick of myself and millions others feeling ashamed to admit that we do need help and that sometimes we aren’t okay. I’m sick of people who don’t understand making people who struggle with mental illness feel inferior for the way their brain works. It isn’t something we can control, trust me we all wish we could make it go away. Mental illnesses are not a choice.

I truly believe that the more we talk about it, not matter how uncomfortable it might be, the more we can get others to understand. I believe that the more we talk about it, the more support and help we can receive. I believe the more we talk, and don’t stop talking, we all can change the stigma surrounding mental health. I’m optimistic for the future, and I look forward to the day where mental health can be talked about openly and be understood instead of judged.

For those struggling, please, talk. For those who aren't struggling, please, listen. We can all change the stigma and bring about change, together.

Cover Image Credit: EndLoneliness

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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10 Thoughts You Have While Going On Your Daily Run

1. "I wonder what I'm going to eat after this?"

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Running has been a part of my life since I was in about third grade. Once I started at that young tender age, I never looked back. As I'm out and about running through whatever neighborhood or trail, I have these thoughts that I feel as though most runners have, but it could possibly be just me. So, without further ado these are the thoughts!

1. "I wonder what I'm going to eat after this?"

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Food is fuel, yeah I get that. But, at the same rate I never stop thinking about the possibility of just pouring food into my mouth after literally pounding my feet into the ground.

2.  "Where is the closest bathroom?"

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Our bodies know when nature calls and sometimes it happens while you're in the middle of a run. Most definitely the worst feeling while running, this comes from several runs of feeling like an accident is going to happen at any given step.

 3. "Halfway there!"

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Hitting that halfway point is always an amazing feeling! You have gone through half of the workout. Almost there just keep running.

4. "This wind is awful."

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Living in Michigan during the fall is fun. The colors are all over the trees, the sun is out, it's not hot anymore, but there is always something to screw it up; the wind. During the fall the wind will gust in your face and it makes you never want to run outside ever again.

5. “Am I really going that fast/slow?”

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Looking down at the watch when you're going fast: Wow I'm flying, go me! The thought when looking at how slow you're going: "It's not me, its the weather and that five-gallon tub of ice cream I ate the night before that's slowing me down."

6.  “That cute girl totally noticed me.”

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Yeah, that girl is totally impressed at how short my shorts are, how toned my legs are, or maybe it's the weird face I'm making while I'm breathing so I don't fall to the ground. Either way, she totally noticed me. I think this one is a personal one.

7. “If my GPS doesn’t locate I’m out.”

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Waiting for the GPS to connect is frustrating, especially in the cold. If the watch doesn't locate anytime soon I'm going to go home and binge that show I meant to watch three weeks ago.

8. “Alright here comes the second wind!”

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May feel very tired, but all of the sudden that second wind kicks in and instantly the feeling of getting this run done is back.

9. “My nipples are chafing so badly.”

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This is most definitely something runners go through. Don't judge me, there have been several occasions of this burning and uncomfortable feeling.

10. “Why do I do this?”

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Probably the biggest thought of them all. No matter how far I'm going I will always have this thought and I assume other runners do too. But, at the end of the day, it's the love and the adrenaline that keeps us going. Running is what keeps our spirit warm, I will never give it up no matter how hard it gets.

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