My Mental Health Life Story, Inspired Edition:

My Mental Health Struggles & How I Coped With Them

Faking it:

From time to time, I look back to years ago when I would either fake an emotion by wiping my tears before being seen by family, or lie about the reason behind my tears, the pain. But little did I realize later, that I wasn’t acting like a normal human being. I thought I was fine, that I didn’t have a problem. But later, life presented me with a sign helping me analyze what went wrong with what I thought happened at these moments. That I wasn’t healthy in a way that I didn’t even know nor probably understand at that point in my life that I did have something wrong with me. But something more hidden, life-altering illness that very few come to service sharing with their loved ones about: Mental Health issues.

Realization:

It wasn’t until around Easter of 2014 in my 2nd semester of grade 12 that I had come to my awareness that I had a problem. One of the units that was covered in the health portion of my fitness class, was on mental health. We had a speaker who talked about his mental health issues and how it affected his life. He listed all his symptoms of his depression, and as he went through the list, I started checking off the symptoms that I knew I was experiencing. Then it came later that day or that week that I was depressed. No, I was not sad, nor depressed. I was suffering from the mental illness, depression. Completely separate from the emotion, sadness itself which was also on a different level too. Then on April 17, 2014 I decided to tell my best friend Courtney. She was open, and was very supportive and understanding about all I had shared with her that night. But before I told her, I remember crying in the shower. From what I can remember that night, I probably was in a very emotional, sensitive state. But hadn’t been the worst emotional ride yet.

Before Knowing The Problem:

Before knowing that there was something wrong with me relating to mental health, I only knew about Robin William’s suicide, struggles with his depression and what little I knew about Demi Lovato. Other than that, I knew that a friend from both my high school and church had dealt with self harm, depression, seizures, plus many suicide attempts known as: Tracey Bazso. Knowing all that I knew about her, that I could always count on her for anything about mental health. Which was so great (will be covered further on in my story). I had previously posted a few comments on a few of her Facebook posts talking about how I had mental problems but without knowing or saying it myself in the comments. She was so greatly supportive and understanding for all she went through with her own mental health issues. In conclusion here, I would like to say that knowing Tracey and everything about her, has helped me in ways that not even my parents would understand (in the near future, I’m sure they’ll understand but it’s all about timing. There’s a perfect time for everything).

“So many years of education, yet nobody taught us how to love ourselves.”

Awareness:

Being aware of things that aren’t easily able to be seen is important for me. And after a certain point in thinking back to times when I did things, said things, later realizing I wasn’t being honest with my friends and family even myself. I said I was okay, but earlier that day and other days, I cried my eyes out so hard. In all reality, how is that okay? It’s not. But after realizing and being aware of all those times I made that same mistake, I thought “I must have been crazy then, making them believe that I was okay.” The next thing I thought later throughout my recovery, that I shouldn’t be hard on myself like that. It’s in the past, I can’t go back and change it. I just have to accept that, let it go, move on and use it to look back to see how far I have come. My recovery taught me to be kind to myself in all these different ways to help me stay mentally healthy and sane so that I don’t go back down that road again. Being in recovery, helped me believe that:

“Recovery does not take a day off”

Believing this, I realized that if I ever take one day off, I’ll get worse again. Going down that road that I’m way too familiar with which I had decided in the beginning of my recovery, that I would do whatever I had to do so that I don’t go back there. Even when you go on vacation with your friends or family, your still working on your recovery. One thing in the world that does not take a break.

Mental Health Test

I decided to take an online mental health test on May 20, 2015 answering the questions on my symptoms and experiences in college:

Here is the most accurate test results from college and my mental health state:

But here are the questions and answers to the mental health test below:

Stories & Articles Related To Mental Health & My Story:

Plus many others relating to my mental health learning experiences, thoughts and mental health overall itself in my profile and in the “Mental Health Superheros” profile!

Mental Lessons:

After suffering from depression and after the end of my recovery, I have been thinking about all the things that it has taught me. There’s so many things that it has taught me about mental health. Here’s the list of them below:

  1. Self Love is more important than I ever knew: loving yourself isn’t as easy as it seems to be; not as easy as getting comfy in comfy clothes, cuddling with either an animal or human, and watching movies preferably on Netflix)
  2. Letting others be hard on me, only teaching me that it’s a wise thing to be hard on yourself: a method I thought was a way to succeed, to get things done – but was really the wrong idea there; the answer: be easy on yourself with all the methods and ways you can in self care that helps keep your mind healthy
  3. Don’t react to every situation in an instant: take time to analyze all the facts (brainstorm pros/cons, etc) think about which one seems wise and have an idea of how I’m gonna answer/react to the situation when I feel ready – helps reduce stress and anxiety by taking deep breaths and helps the mind find ways to cope with the pressures that life has on us
  4. Practicing Self Care is so important in recovery and for anyone to help retrain/keep brain in healthy ways – preventing the brain from becoming mentally sick… (Relapses in a recovery is normal: no recovery is perfect)
  5. Having support is so important to have, if you take it for granted, you will put yourself in danger and later in your life, you’ll wish you didn’t take it for didn’t take it for granted and to appreciate those around you that care, love, support you like anyone should
  6. How amazing it can truly feel to be happy and actually feel it: happiness lasting longer than 1–2 hours, that’s a great accomplishment that I like to be proud of. Being able to control my emotions a lot more of the time. And that can have a big effect on me – knowing that it’s completely okay to be sad.
“It’s okay not to be okay.” – Jessie J
  1. Being able to manage time management with my electronics (iPhone, iPod {only for music}, & iPad)
  2. Listening to positive music again and making sure that I don’t listen to the “depressed” playlist when I feel sad – part of that is also believing positive quotes, and things: getting out of that depressed feeling (from depression)
  3. Recreating myself: keep some qualities and replace the bad with better ones:
“Everyone’s a work in progress”

10. Getting out of the old habits and back into the regular habits back at home: responsibilities, initiative, personal hygiene, eating better, managing a better exercise routine, etc

11. Smiles: I’ve noticed after reaching the 75% mark, I noticed I was feeling a lot happier and smiling a lot more: and I mean a lot!!

12. The stigma attached to mental illness is way stronger and life-altering that I ever thought it was. When I was depressed, I felt so vulnerable and shameful of all my depression made me to be, making me continue to keep it all bottled up inside me instead of asking for help from someone or a helpline about my mental wellbeing struggles…

13. It’s okay to talk about our mental health, and that you are not alone; learned that from Bekah Miles from her own story (video of her story & interview included)

14. Being as honest as I can. Knowing how hard it can be to speak up about what may be bothering me: the stigma. But know the good and right thing is to find enough courage, strength and confidence to take that leap of faith and share what’s bothering you. But also taking time to decide the best time to share about what’s been going on with me that they don’t already know: my mental health!

15. Being grateful to have my humanity back: caring in all the right areas in all reality! I’m living like a normal human being, feeling normal human emotion. And it feels a amazing! Don’t take anything for granted: if you do take things for granted, you will lose it, then you’ll wish you didn’t.

“So let the light guide your way. Yeah. Hold every memory as you go! And every road you take, will always lead you home, home.” – Charlie Puth

16. Weather has an affect on how we feel: at the point when we started getting nicer weather for spring, I felt a little better for also where I was with my recovery progress.


Experiencing Mental Health Struggles:

Anyone who isn’t or hasn’t suffered from a mental illness just don’t understand what it’s like being mentally ill with the stigma. The stigma can change your life in the wrong direction that no one should ever follow in any lifetime. When people see anyone where they believe that they are mentally ill, they decide not to do anything to help us and instead give us labels like, lunatics.. It’s offensive and hurtful, which only makes us worse, sinking deeper in our depression, and farther away from getting help and recovery.

People just don’t get it. They don’t realize how much more harm they are doing by labelling us and saying negative, hurtful things to us. But luckily, many of us victims who are either in recovery, and those recovered are working on ending the stigma once and for all. Two things are part of that:

  1. Family, friends and coworkers need to know more on mental health and how it needs to be kept in mind on a daily basis and needed for support of those who have mental health issues. And strangers that see people with mental health issues, need to know all the important facts about mental health and how they should and shouldn’t treat them. But all family, friends, coworkers and strangers need to continue to help promote positive mental health and to offer help and tell those suffering that there is help and they are not alone.
  2. Us victims need to continue reaching out and continue our projects on promoting positive mental health, awareness, helping those who are suffering and everything else that is necessary to help end the stigma forever.

After Recovery:

Mental illness has taught me a lot and so I thought about turning it into a career. Hey, why not?

So, it came to me one day about 2–2.5 weeks ago that I should turn my experiences with my mental health into a career: become a mental health counsellor! What a great idea. I can’t think of any better career that would suit me better than this one! I’ve been in the darkness before and after gone through that, and recovering from it all, it makes sense to achieve that career to help those out of the darkness cuz I’ve been there.

Someone named, Kelly commented on a previous “happy moment” on Happier.com:

“You’re very welcome Laura. You have so much potential. You can teach this world so many important things. Your words are inspirational when you want them to be. I wonder if your situation is one that you’ll be able to lead others out of darkness because you’ve been there. I for one can’t wait to see how your story unfolds. All I know is that it’s going to be amazing.”

Happier: I have had an account on Happier for about 3 years now and I’ve loved absolutely everything about it. I came to discover that “Happier” has a new feature that no other social media app has: courses! Most of them are free, others are premium. The courses are really helpful: “Everyday Grateful”, “7 Happier Habits”, “Attitude Gratitude”, “More Calm, Less Stress”, “Meditation Vacation”, Sleep Deep, Dream Sweet”, and many others. These courses I’ve tried and I have definitely enjoyed and loved them and the benefits too.

They are very helpful and I would recommend “Happier” and many different courses in areas they need help with. I have also used Happier with areas that I struggle with using the courses and the supportive, happy, understanding, respectful, positive community that Happier is known. I’ve used it throughout my recovery, and times I needed support, help and advice with my mental health. Overall joining the Happier community has been one of the best decisions I made! And also same goes for Happier, it has impacted my life in so many different areas of my life that I’m so truly grateful and happy to have!

I would also like to thank Nataly Kogan, CEO of Happier: that I really am grateful for creating Happier and all it has done for all of us on Happier. It has impacted my life in so many ways that I have already said above. Thank you for everything, and all that your doing to update/improve Happier with new features, improvements and courses! You are so greatly appreciated all around the world! Thank you, we all love to so much!

A few songs that come to mind that I want and plan to achieve here with this career and life purpose of mine – but what I create with them is a surprise: but here’s a little hint for each individual song:

  1. The Lost Get Found – Britt Nicole: help give hope and strength to those that have lost it…
  2. Tomorrow – Alyssa Reid: There’s nothing we can do after its in the past, we only have to create something better and good today and for the future!
  3. SafeBritt Nicole: know that sometimes it’s okay not to be safe, just know that you have people who care and love you, and that will protect you when you can’t.
  4. Beautiful U R – Deborah Cox: believe that you are beautiful and don’t let anyone bring you down, don’t lose your pride, hold onto what’s inside!
  5. Work Of Art – Demi Lovato: you can create something with what you love, no matter what. “Follow your heart: life is a work of art!”
  6. Something In The Way You MoveEllie Goulding: There’s always a way of doing everything life and we all have a right to do it anyway we feel in doing something. The right to refuse.
  7. I’ll Show You – Justin Bieber: We need to show the world what we are made of, even times when they forget that we are human, and what truly matters inside of us! They forget that we are real, a lot of others things too! So let’s go out there and show them that we won’t let what they think of us…get us down or derail/change our direction we follow in our lives! We gotta do the right thing even if that means standing alone! We aren’t gonna let their negative comments hurt us any longer! It’s time to change the way people live…
  8. Children – Justin Bieber: Visionary: We’re the generation that’s gonna be the ones to fight for it. We’re the inspiration: Believe enough to die for it! Who’s heart is the biggest: we can make a difference: just set your mind to it, or change your perspective and then get to it! We can change more lives and overall the world and future than you may even think or believe: Believe
  9. Up To Us – Jory Zechner: Not everyone believes that it can be up to us when it comes to certain things in life, but when you put those thoughts aside, anything is possible when you set your mind to it!
  10. Flashlight – Jessie J: There are people out there who can help you find light in your darkness and into a better life! It’s possible even when you feel absolutely hopeless inside!
  11. Revival – Selena Gomez: We are in our own way: recreating ourselves when we lost ourselves, (and possibly suffered with one or many mental health issues)
  12. Never Say Never – Justin Bieber: No matter what happens in life, never stay on the ground: get back up and fight! Fight for the things that matter to you and that make you happy! Never let anyone make you feel less of who you truly are! Never say never!
  13. Who Says – Selena Gomez: No matter what anyone says: You are beautiful, perfect, worthy, the only one that’s hurting and so on. And also very important to so many people!
  14. Unbreakable – Madison Beer: We are unbreakable when life or others give us that little push or inspiration that empowers us to stay strong and not be ashamed to be who we want to be/become!
  15. Get It Right – Rachel Berry (Glee): “Can I start again, with my face shaken. Cuz I can’t go back and undo this. I just have to stay and face my mistakes. But if I get stronger and wiser, I’ll get through this. What can you do when your good isn’t good enough. And all that you touch tumbles down. Cuz my best intentions keep making a mess of things. I just want to give it somehow. But how many times will it take. How many times will it take for me to get it right.”

16. Loser Like Me – Glee: “Hey, you, over there. Keep the L above in the air. Hey, you, over there. Keep the L up cuz I don’t care. You can throw your sticks and stones. Like a rocket, just watch me go. Yeah, L-O-S-E-R. I can only be who I are!”

17. Pretending – Glee: “And it’s such a shame cuz if you feel the same how am I supposed to know? – Will we ever say the words we’re feeling.”

18. Light Up The World – Glee: “Lay it all down. Throw your doubt away” – Blow the door wide open like up, up away

My Problem:

I still haven’t gotten a real, full diagnosis from a mental health professional yet. Also my parents have been totally against the idea that I was truthfully depressed, and not sad. They just believe that I was sad and lazy as to why my first year of college turned out the way it did. But that’s not it at all.

“It’s important to realize that depression is not a medicalization of normal, human emotion. Depression is a real illness. It is very different from sadness. And skilled clinicians can tell the difference between the two.” – Health Line

I’ve tried 5 times at least talking to them about it. But they always seem to only think about what they believe and refuse to see things differently, preferably from my perspective. But the first time I told them was probably within a week that I got home from college after 1st semester ended. I told them that in the past how times that I open up to them about personal things that matter a lot to me, and they previously always never took me seriously. So that’s when I stopped being honest with them.

And that’s one of the few symptoms that I was experiences with my mental health. Even throughout my childhood, I remember times when I acted a certain way, and say that I was fine. Yet the night before I cried myself to sleep, and eventually the lying about my wellbeing become a habit. It would always be the same: how are you? I’m fine. But am I really? No, is crying yourself to sleep, faking it, lying about the reason behind the tears seem fine to you? No. It’s not fine and it's not healthy either.

I didn’t realize that during those moments. I let myself believe that I was actually fine. Not knowing that I wasn’t being honest with them but also myself too. It’s kind of a scary thing to recognize. Through this time, I also recognized other behaviours and thoughts throughout my life and just responding with “wow, I must be crazy not to notice that” but as a child, you aren’t educated on mental health until high school.

Knowing now from being educated on mental health in grade 12, I know a lot more. I learned a bit about mental health in high school but then later started doing research throughout since that day as I had checked off many of the symptoms of depression that I was experiencing.

But what would the picture look like if I wasn’t educated at all about mental health? How bad would I be? I wouldn’t know that I even had a problem like depression nor even try to ask for help.

But thinking on the positive side, there will be that one day where my parents will be open to talking about mental health overall not just my own but theirs too. And stop believing what they previously believed on what happened and start believing the truth that it was: depression! Getting to this day, would mean the world to me that my parents are more comfortable, open and accepting about the “mental health” subject.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Einstein

Tomorrowland – Quote:

“There are two wolves. They are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. Which wolf wins?” – Cassie Newton

What are optimists? They are people who don’t I’ve up on achieving something even the most impossible things in life that no one else can. Even when times get rough and hard, they still decide to fight and find a way to make things happen – fly! So having optimistic people in the world can be a lot of use to the world and society because they can achieve and create the “impossible” things. Which may inspire and encourage others to try a little harder, be a little more optimistic to achieve some goals of theirs that they recently gave up on. Because maybe that can be what they needed. And then that will help those that aren’t exactly like an optimist that leads them to think differently so that they can believe in achieving the impossible things and that they are possible!

The Quote:

Between the two wolves fighting, when someone is depressed or suffering from a mental illness they are most likely the “darkness and despair” because they feel hopeless, and are in the dark all the time… Whereas those who are recovered/recovering and those who don’t have a mental illness, are “light and hope”! Let’s change this to make those who are suffering the light and hope that they deserve and more for their life has meaning and is very precious for the whole world! And including those in recovery and recovered… Never stop talking, spreading news, facts, help and change for mental health in today’s society!

Whether your hands are tied or something else, you have to find a way to get out of that so you can create a better life and a better world. Imagine what that would look like? Now, what are you thinking? Write it down before you lose it, and then make a plan of how your going to achieve that. By thinking differently like an optimist would.

But you may be wondering how this quote, movie and thoughts I just shared with you are related to mental health in any way? Well, after a certain point in my recovery, I found Tomorrowland on Netflix and realized I had previously wanted to see it in theatres after seeing the trailer last year but never had the time nor anyone that wanted to go see it with me. And then I decided to watch it on Netflix that day. At a certain point in the movie, I found myself feeling a lot like Cassie Newton: being an optimist and achieving the things that achievable no matter what went against it. But I haven’t mentioned at all about how all this here is related to mental health:

The day I finally watched “Tomorrowland” I felt like it was part of my destiny to follow that kind of reality: yeah sure it’s a lot to risk, achieve, and overall as a human being living in this society and generation. But nothing is impossible when you have the right mindset. And now that I’ve reached the end of my recovery, I really and honestly feel like this is my year to achieve that: my dreams, life purpose, passions and what the movie created & inspired.

I’ve noticed that when people particularly close to me: don’t let me be who I want to be and let me do what I want to do, I’m not happy. But when I fight against that and do what I feel what’s right for me, I’m who I want to be, and do what I want to do, then I’m happy. Like Justin Bieber said:
“If I can’t be who I want to be, and do what I wanna do, then I’m not gonna be happy!” – Justin Bieber

Further Thoguhts:

  • Just be who you are, do whatever you want to do: don’t give into anything anyone says, it will only bring you down and destroy you… know who you are and stay strong!

Conclusion:

In conclusion here, I would like to say that I hope that all this here has impacted lives here on earth and much more including people who are close to me, family and friends that see this: I hope you respect what I’ve shared here and that this is final. It happened, and this is what I want to do in return: and I hope everyone supports and respects that! Thank you!

“If you think logically, your gonna lose the creative arts.” – Topanga Mathews