You may read that title, and think "oh no! Don't stop caring! " . And you are right.
Caring about things is always important, Except when its caring about what other people think...
There has been a lot of mention of Kate Spade being pushed to suicide because of her battle with mental illness and worrying what people would think if it got out that she sought help... She was worried what people would say if they found out she was suffering with a mental illness!!!! THAT IS NOT OKAY! If she had cancer, people would rally around her and wear ribbons, or host fundraisers in her name to help the cause, but we have stigmatized mental illness so much that people would rather end their life, then let people find out that they are suffering... again THAT IS NOT OKAY!
In a song by Macklemore and Kesha titled the " Good old days " He says " Wish I wouldn't have worried about what other people thought and felt comfortable in myself " How I wish people would learn this sooner then later. How I wish I would have learned this sooner...
It took me until I was 43. It took until I was drowning in depression, and anxiety, and self loathing. It took a physical and mental collapse to take a hard look at myself. I laid in the hospital and thought "What are people going to say?" ...I was killing myself mentally and physically to the point of collapsing and I was worried what people were going to think! That they would judge me for being " weak". Is that not the most ridiculous thing?! And yet how many times do we worry what others will think?
How many pictures do you take, before finding one you like enough to post? How many do you delete and think " Thats not good enough for my social media". How many hide behind snapchat filters because lets admit it, those filters make our skin better, and our eyes brighter. How many scroll through their feed looking at picture after picture of happy people in beautiful settings with perfectly dressed families, and then look at your own home, children and self with a sad self loathing?
This picture is from my 44th birthday. I decided to do a adult cake smash LOL. This was not a planned picture. It was actually just a response to my adult daughter taking the pictures comment about something I don't even remember now . I posted all the others, but I didn't post this at first. I thought " What will my LDS friends think?" Then eventually I decided to post it with a comment practically apologizing. Everyone laughed and thanked me for posting it. I realized that my real friends love me even when I am not the "perfect Mormon Mom". Not that I have to EVER worry about being that anyways LOL. And really! Does that even exist?
I learned by sharing my story, and all the "ugly" that comes with it, I get to know stories from the most amazing people. People that were scared to share their own. People that sit silently in sadness, feeling alone.. When we share our stories, we make people not feel alone.. The amount of messages I received after my last blog post was very humbling and VERY heartbreaking. So many people are hurting. So many people need to know that they are not alone.
While I am not telling you to start a blog, or shout from the rooftops, I am asking you to if you feel inspired at some moment SHARE YOUR STORY. Share it with a friend that doesn't know, share it with your children when age appropriate, share it at church, whenever! Just share it. Let others know that they are not alone, and that its okay to not be happy all the dang time, and its okay to have dog fur all over your couch, and your child to be covered in I don't even know what all over his shirt. ( Things that I can see a foot away from me currently LOL )
Don't be fooled. I still have A LOT of work to do in this area, but I am trying. Honestly.. I am working on not freaking out when my neck looks wrinkly in pictures. I am working on not freaking out about aging. ( Thats another blog post) But I am at a place where I can laugh at myself at least.
Lets break the stigma of depression, or anxiety, or any other mental illness. Lets talk about addiction, and pain, and healing...
Open up to others and let them know you are a safe place...
“Sometimes reaching out is inconvenient. But when we work together in love and unity, we can expect heaven’s help.”
Linda K. Burton