Mental Health: My Journey

The attention on mental health has come into focus recently due to the pandemic in 2020 and the rise of its lasting impact when it is not taken care of. Since mental health is so different for each person, people have a hard time talking about it. What I have learned on my own mental health journey is that it is important to talk about it because loneliness is such a pivotal part of why people continue to struggle with their mental health. It is like the Swedish proverb “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow”. So I am here to share my journey and provide tools I use to care for my mental health.  

October 10 was World Mental Health Day. On this day, I shared on social media a little bit about my mental health journey. I first became aware of the importance of taking care of my mental health after the death of my big brother, Jamie. Butthead as I like to call him, passed away on June 18, 2016. I remember the day finding out he passed away like it just happened yesterday. He passed away from cancer at home with my parents. I was in Las Vegas for my annual birthday spa trip when I received the call from my mom that he died. The emotions hit me like a tsunami and ultimately changed me forever. 

Grief is a funny thing you know. It is a journey that no single person experiences the same. There are 5 stages and you go through each stage at its own pace. Also, you experience each stage multiple times except acceptance. Acceptance you only experience once and it can take you years to get there. For me, it  took me a little over 4 years to get there. 

5 Stages of Grief

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

The other thing about grief is that it still lingers even after acceptance. Denial and depression have been interchangeable for me and they still emerge for me even now. For example, family gatherings and holidays are still really hard for me. With each event, I am reminded that Butthead is gone and he won’t be there. I am getting better but I still require a lot of self care in preparation of each event. Prior to doing all my work on my mental health, I would get such anxiety attacks with the idea of going to family events, I would get migraines that were so debilitating I had to stay home. I’ve missed funerals, holidays and weddings because of my grief so I knew I needed to get help. 

Although I tried therapy, it wasn’t for me. After 4 different therapists, I moved to working with my coach, Liz. What I appreciate about my meetings with Liz is that it is work on myself. I learned I don’t need to be in touch with my feelings, I know my feelings but I need tools to help me work through the feelings. 

Tools I use:

Journaling helps me to identify my feelings at the time when I feel the tears emerge or I get angry at someone for no reason. Meditation helps me to focus and breathe through the feelings so I can find peace and joy. The other tools help me to tap into the feelings of joy and remind me of how many blessings I have in my life. Please check out my blog posts to learn more.

Are you taking care of your mental health? What tools are you using? Does my journey help you? Please feel free to email me or comment below. I would love to hear from you. As people say, “it is ok to not be ok”. Until next time, have a joy filled day and please take care.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *