My content is usually pretty well-organized and thought-out. But today, things are coming at me a little differently. It’s Independence Day, the 4th of July. Previously known as one of my favorite holidays. But this year? It feels wrong. It feels wrong to celebrate a country that still holds so much racism, sexism, and the like. As I push into my late twenties, I’ve felt more comfortable and confident to stand by my morals and beliefs, whether people despise me because of them or not. I am anti-racist. I am anti-sexist. I am against any belief or moral that diminishes the value of another human life or strips them of their rights. In America, these beliefs and morals are still very much alive and practiced by millions of people.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with multiple mental health illnesses -- from depression and anxiety to anorexia and attention deficit disorder. And then some. As I got older, I realized how misunderstood these illnesses are and how many people feel uncomfortable talking about them. Because mental health has always been a part of my life, I’ve never felt uncomfortable talking about my illnesses, but rather felt ashamed and overwhelmed. And today, I am no longer ashamed. I’ve accepted all of my diagnoses and openly talk about them. Mental illnesses are not something to be ashamed of or feel uncomfortable talking about. Recently, I took the steps to continue raising awareness and supporting mental health.
Racism. What is racism? The technical definition of it is: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.” And this definition is light, not touching on the inequality and injustices that stem from it.
Three months ago, escaping the city and getting away from the hustle and bustle was a choice. One that my husband and I would choose over and over if we had the option. A weekend getaway was relaxing, peaceful, and allowed us quality time together, without our children screaming and running throughout the house. Three months ago, we went on our last weekend getaway for who knows how long, and we would do just about anything to do it again.
If you know me or have followed my journey here on Vocal or via social media, you know that I struggle with multiple mental health illnesses, and I’m doing okay right now. For most of you, it probably seems like I’ve been okay for most of my life. Now, if you REALLY know me, and most don’t, you’d know that I’ve thought about committing suicide more than once. As mental health awareness month comes to an end, I felt inspired to share a story with you that not many know.
I’m sure most of us have had thoughts of wishing a part of our body looked different, our hair was thicker, or our eyes were a different color -- because, who hasn’t, right? For me, I wish my boobs were a little bigger, more perky. I wish my bikini line didn’t get such bad razor burn. I wish my teeth were straighter, whiter. There are many physical characteristics I’d like to change, but I’ve also learned how to accept myself just the way I am. That’s not to say I don’t still have those thoughts, because I do. And I’m sure you’ve experienced them a time or two as well. What’s important is to be aware of how often and how extreme those thoughts occur.