an open letter to those contributing to the stigma:

Dear reader, 

Through the grapevine, I heard recently that a blog of this nature is very detrimental to my future career. This was a significant setback for me, because I would never do anything  purposely to jeopardize my future. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am today. I believe I am quite hardworking and dedicated to the work I set out to accomplish. Through the help of a very good friend of mine, I had to overcome this hurtful comment. Easier said than done to brush these comments off your shoulder, and I know there is a lot worse being said out there. But, I had to recognize that yes, I am human. And if an employer is to not consider hiring me based on this, then I am sorry, but that is not somewhere I wish to work. If you can’t accept the way my mind works, and the “flaws” that come with being human, than that career path is not meant to be. If I can’t take a day to better my mental health and take a moment to step back and breathe…is that living? How can you be successful or move forward and be happy in your career choice if you are struggling with your internal happiness? 

I think what hurt me the most is that instead of reaching out to ask me if I was okay and talk about what was going on, I was talked about in a negative context. I didn’t receive any support; I was just a topic of  conversation. Society isn’t here yet, and we still are struggling to accept that not everyone thinks the same, and that you can be struggling internally. You can be “sick” without have a stomach ache just as you can be “struggling” without having a broken arm. 

My dear reader, these negative comments only contribute to the stigma attached with mental health. I hate that people are fearful to reach out for help because they are worried about the backlash they will face. You cannot please everyone, and not everyone will understand. I write because it is my therapy, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one going through this. If me putting my pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) can help even one person, then I am so happy. You may read this and think I’m naive or immature for writing such a thing, but hey, this is my life. 

These past few weeks, I’ve struggled a lot, but I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for my support system. Sometimes, the best therapy is getting out of bed and taking deep breaths. Simple, I realize that, but man, taking a deep breath of fresh air when you desperately need it is heavenly. Getting there is one of the hardest parts, but once you’re there, you’re golden.

I’m not perfect, and I know my old self may not have always positively contributed to decreasing the stigma around mental health, but I am making up for it. Maybe because I am writing with lived experience and I have more sympathy for those struggling as well. We can’t all be on the same page, but damn, we can try our best to be a positive resource to our friends and family that surround us, look up to us, and depend on us. 

Please don’t think that I am trying to single anyone out, and I definitely am not trying to point fingers. But, choose your words wisely. People listen and words are POWERFUL. Don’t make the mistake of using hurtful words out of confusion, frustration, or lack of knowledge. Words linger and can be taken to heart. And I made the mistake of letting those words get to me last month. 

So, if you do, thank you for listening, for reading, and for supporting. Whatever journey you are on, I hope you wake up each day with excitement for what is to come. And if you don’t, I hope you are looking for it. And you are trying your best, no matter how fast or slow this may take. If no one is listening to you, I am. I will always be a system of support and a shoulder for anyone who needs. I’ve been there, and I am appreciative of everyone who has been there for me. So, here I am. Here for you. 

Best,

Larissa 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So, I know it’s been a while. 

I hypocritically stopped writing in my blog. Again, I know. But I decided it was time to take more of my words to heart, and start applying them more to my everyday life. I got caught up in the world, and somehow in my own head, and lost sight of my own goals. Especially my goals to better my mental health and reach out for support when I needed it the most. My mind became more hectic, and I was distracting myself with so many things to take the focus off how I was actually doing. 

I feel like I am always trying to justify and makes sense of my mistakes, when realistically, I can just own up to them, look at my faults and areas of improvement and keep moving forward. easier said than done sometimes, but it’s a huge accomplishment to get past them. Baby steps, I keep telling myself, and I think I’m finally taking them to heart. 

This past year, I’ve decided to branch out in my music selection. I have been listening to less top 40 and lyrics that are less aggressive and overall useless. I have been a fan George Ezra for quite a while now, and his latest album has touched my heart. Something I don’t usually experience with music, but Staying at Tamara’s has been especially emotional for me. Never have lyrics spoken to me and have been so close to my heart before, so I’d like to share a few lines: 

Don’t Matter Now

Sometimes you need to be alone
Shut the door, unplug the phone
Speak in a language they don’t know
It don’t matter now

Well I don’t think about that stuff
No, I don’t think about that stuff
It don’t matter now

Build a castle out of sand
Where it won’t last and it won’t stand
With a suitcase in your hand
It don’t matter now

Only a Human

It’s a new day
Wind up the music box and watch the city go
Always the same
Watching neighbours on the pavement rock’n’roll
Flicking through your inbox
Hundred miles an hour
Oh, forever dreaming
Lullaby
You can run, you can jump
Might fuck it up
But you can’t blame yourself
No, you’re just human
Come on, come on
No, you can’t blame yourself
You’re just human
No, you can’t blame yourself
You’re just human
If it’s a new day
Why don’t we invent a new world to explore
Why don’t we create a moment to remember
In five years?
Winner’s just a word
Loser’s just one, too
Oh, forever dreaming
Lullaby

Get Away

It’s never been this way before
Shut down by anxiety
It’s never been this way before
You better get away, boy

Any boy can dream, dream of anything
Just like you

 

This week has been a week. Thanks for listening and letting me talk. 

And that’s how I’m feeling this week.

Larissa 

 

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