Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Take Care

Life is crazy. Things happen. People get sick. Like me for example. I came down with a cold, and my focus is not where it should be, so I’m just going to do a quick post today. If you follow me on Twitter, then you may know that I participated in Bell Let's Talk Day on January 28th. In an initiative to start the conversation about mental illness on this day, Bell Canada donates 5 cents for every Tweet, text, or phone call towards mental health research. I learned last year that a research building in Toronto was funded entirely by Bell. This past year, $6 107 538.60 was raised with 122, 150, 772 interactions. I felt so fulfilled after 15 hours of tweeting because I knew I was actually making a difference for a great cause.

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The reason I put so much effort into it is because it is something I hold near to me. Both of my grandmothers suffered from depression. I am not ready to share my story yet, but I have been in counselling three times, one including a current biweekly appointment. I have been through this, but I have been unable to share my experience with others. No one talk about it. Why? However, these past few days, I noticed a few people mention “my therapist” in a conversation. There was no big fuss, and no one questioned it. It was so casual in a conversation, and that’s exactly how mental health should be regarded! Instead of making an excuse for why you are missing out because you have counselling, just say you have counselling. I believe that it’s only a big deal if you make it out to be that way.

With that being said, you do not have to be seeing a therapist or counselor to talk about it. As the jack.org chapter in my university tells us, 5 in 5 of us have mental health. I am about to have a busy month, and I know from past experience that if I lose focus, then I get overwhelmed and I stop taking care of myself. My mental state goes into a downhill spiral that is neither healthy nor productive. For me, I care of myself by taking a long, hot bath with a magazine or taking a night off to spend with a friend. If you’re in the middle of a busy time and don’t know how to cope with your stresses, talk to the people around you. Ask how they maintain their mental health. Start a conversation.

You are the most important part of your life. You have a light that no one else can give. If you let your light dim, it may be harder to see your path. If you get to the point where your light goes out altogether, it may be harder to get out of the darkness. So please, take care of yourself. Listen to your body. And reach out.

-Daniella

P.S. I decided to post this after midnight because the 25th of February marks my official first year of blogging! Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this process whether is through reading, or active support. I appreciate each of you whole-heartedly.