“You don’t have to reach the deepest level of despair before seeking help. Your struggles, no matter how big or how small are valid” – Holly Garcia
1. Your journey with Mental Health
I’m an author, freelance writer, and mental health advocate. I’ve been formally diagnosed with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I knew I had struggled with my mental health for well over a decade, but only chose to seek help for mental illness about three years go.
2. Effective Coping Techniques – Things that helped you to cope with your condition and helped you in your recovery journey
I’ve always been an avid journal writer. Especially before I sought help for my mental illnesses, journaling allowed me to sort out all the feelings I [unsuccessfully] tried to bury while getting all the negative self-talk out of my head and on to the page. Sometimes when you feel like no one understands your struggle, it’s cathartic to write in a journal as if it is someone with who you can be totally open and honest, without judgment.
Now that I’m managing my MDD, GAD, and PTSD with more grace, sharing my journey and experiences has been incredibly helpful. I advocate for mental health by writing for my community. I validate my experiences when you drop a note about how much these words resonate. But more importantly, I am able to validate my community’s feelings, helping them know they are never alone.
3. What would you like to tell those who maybe struggling with their mental health right now or those who live with a mental health condition?
You are never alone. No matter how lost you feel, no matter how dark it seems, no matter how overwhelmed you feel by your life, things can and will get better. You don’t have to reach the deepest level of despair before seeking help. Your struggles, no matter how big or how small are valid. You are worthy to live a life you love. Things can and will get better.
Sometimes all you need is a story! There are so many people out there who might just need a brim of hope to cross over. Are you someone who has lived with a mental health condition and/or are currently on your recovery journey? We would love to hear from you – write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your story with @speakinggrey and inspire others!