I’ve been debating about posting this post all month long. Scratch that, I think it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve been torn with what to say, how to say it & how much to say. The internet can be an amazing place to share things and equally as scary. I’m totally afraid that anything I say may come across wrong or be misconstrued. However, this May is Mental Health Awareness month and thus, I’m letting you in on a personal secret – I’ve been struggling with severe OCD and bipolar II since I was about 15 (so nearing 15 years now – yikes!). In truth, I’m pretty open about it in my personal life although that was not always the case. Today I’m not afraid of what people think, I’m not ashamed & I think that’s because eventually after several years, I decided that I wasn’t going to let it define me. My disorders are apart of me but it’s not who I am. I am a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend & college graduate. I am someone who loves the sunshine, the beach, can’t wait to own a puppy and someone who loves to play around with fashion & beauty because it’s a form of self expression that I missed for a huge chunk of my life.
I do realize that this may come off semi-blasé however I’m not writing this because I want people to pity me or think different about me. On the flip side, I’m not trying to make light of mental illness and the struggles that I’ve had at all. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I work hard every single second of every day to maintain what is described as a “normal” life. Somedays are easier than others and somedays the struggle really overcomes me. But I think it’s important to understand mental illness to the best of our ability. Take away that stigma. Realize that there are more people than you even realize dealing with it – and if you deal with mental illness or not, everyone has their own struggles in life. I think at the end of the day, going what I’ve gone through and continue to go through has made me a more compassionate person, a more understanding person and for that I’m grateful.
It’s been a very, very long road so far with lots of ups and lots of downs. And although the journey ahead of me is long, I’m forever thankful for my family & friends who have always supported me and encouraged me to fight on. I’m very lucky – and I know not all people in my similar situation are.
If you are interested in hearing more of my story on The Fab Life, have questions or just want to email, feel free – I’d love to hear from you!
always remember you are much stronger & braver than you think you are