Mental Health Awareness Month: A Bit of My Own Story
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
In light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I am choosing to share some of my own journey, in hopes that someone will be inspired to seek help and let go of the stigma or shame that is so often linked with mental health issues and getting treatment.
I started going to therapy many years ago. No one told me to go, except a small voice within myself that was saying, “There has got to be another way to live. Get help,” which I believe was my intuition.
So I got help. Those first few years were ROUGH but so impactful on my life personally. AND professionally, I am now able to do the deeply fulfilling work of helping others in the mental health world as a dietitian who specializes in eating disorders.
One day, my therapist and I were reflecting on my growth, and she asked me – how do you think your life would have been different if you hadn’t gotten help?
There are actually many more things I could add to this list, but I’ll include some of them here.
Without therapy, I believe I would still be:
imprisoned by an exercise addiction.
struggling with orthorexia (obsession with “healthy” eating) or another manifestation of an eating disorder.
struggling with Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (AKA not getting a period).
in the wrong marriage.
having crippling anxiety (and sometimes panic attacks) daily.
trying to fit into my societally conditioned timeline.
trying to be someone I am just not.
living my life totally misaligned with my soul, values and intuition.
All of that is literally the opposite of how my life is now (that’s not to say it’s perfect – perfect lives do not exist despite what your IG feed might portray). But now I:
have a movement routine that is flexible and rooted in enjoyment and celebration of my body.
enjoy all foods and take pleasure in eating. I live in full recovery and I choose it each day.
have a regular cycle.
am in a partnership that feels right.
feel much calmer and grounded within myself. No panic attacks!
am at peace with my journey and happy for others’ journeys.
am showing up as my true self.
am living aligned with my truth.
So, I believe in therapy. I believe in asking for help. I believe in doing deep healing work. And I believe it is possible to live a relatively happy life because of it.
I also realize that I am a woman of privilege and that getting the help I needed was absolutely a luxury that many people do not have.
Luckily, there are more and more ways for everyone to get the help they need, and still lots of room for improvement in removing barriers to mental health treatment.
Bottom line: if you are struggling, speak up. There is another way to live, you can heal and you are not alone.
Send me an email if you are looking for a therapist – I know many amazing ones!
And if you are looking for a dietitian to help you find true freedom with food, body and movement, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In true health,