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A Journey: Navigating Mental Health Challenges

As May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, I feel it's important to open up about my own journey with mental health. We all face challenges, and it's crucial to remember that we're not alone. In my experience, seeking help and talking about my struggles has been a significant step towards healing. If you're struggling, know that there are resources available to support you. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Mental Health America (MHA) offer valuable information and assistance. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and there's strength in seeking help.

This past year has been a test of endurance, a journey through darkness that I never anticipated. It's been a year of profound loss, both of loved ones and of my own sense of self. Nights have been spent in tears, days in bed, caught between memories I cling to and those I desperately want to forget. I've lashed out at those closest to me, pushing away the very people trying to help. Relationships I thought were unbreakable have crumbled before my eyes.

Despite the overwhelming support from family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers, I've felt isolated. Grateful for the basic necessities of life, I've questioned why I couldn't shake this feeling of emptiness.

Sadness, anger, and depression don't discriminate. They don't care about your background, your income, your skin color, or your beliefs. They can affect anyone.

I've never felt so lost, angry, and depressed. These feelings are new to me. I've always prided myself on being strong, on powering through tough times. But with the help of my therapist, I've realized that strength was a facade. I was bottling up years of grief, sadness, and anger, and this year, it all came crashing down on me at once.

I still have days where I can't move, can't speak, where I feel utterly worthless and alone. These feelings pull me down into a dark place that terrifies me, wondering if I'll ever find my way out.

In this past year, I've lost so much and felt past losses anew. These feelings led me to make poor decisions, neglect my health, and damage relationships that may never fully heal.

Despite this, I consider myself fortunate. I believe this is a season, a difficult one, but just a season. I am grateful I haven't faced this level of pain my whole life. It's hard to imagine living with this pain forever.

So, what have I done to try to improve? I've been seeing a therapist, being honest with myself and those close to me about my feelings. I've strengthened my relationship with God. I've started exercising, eating better, and getting my house in order. I've made sure to spend intentional time with my teenagers. I've made new friends and adjusted my work schedule. I'm trying. It's incredibly hard, and I may never fully heal, but I'm trying.

Everyone's journey is different. We all face struggles that shape us. What helps me may not help you.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that we can't do this alone. Please seek help if you need it. No problem is too small or too big. I encourage you to take steps to heal from your past traumas and share your story. Every time someone hears your story, they realize they are not alone.

Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even in our darkest moments, we can find hope.

If you are struggling with your mental health, here are some resources that may help:

Together, we can navigate through the darkness and find our way to brighter days ahead.

Alexis Flint

Programs and Operations Director

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