World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to open up those lines of discussion regarding the struggles so many people face on a daily basis. I wanted to mark this day with a site launch and a post, so here it is:
Sharing your struggles: helpful or attention-seeking?
I guess that’s the continuous discussion when it comes to social media sharing in general. What is too much? Where’s the line? How do you share an accurate portrait of your life without alienating people with the ugly? Does it really matter if you alienate people, if you’re being true to yourself?
I get it, I often go to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to oooh and awhhh about other peoples lives. But I also appreciate an honest look into peoples struggles, too. The real stuff.
When I shared my burn out story on my personal Facebook a couple months, I was met with nothing but the most amazing love and support. Many sent me loving, encouraging words, and shared their own stories. Some praised me for my strength and bravery. And though it took me some time to put it into words, I knew from the beginning that it was something I wanted to share. There’s value to sharing the tough stuff; it reminds people they are not alone. If I’m going to share all the good with my friends, and with strangers on the internet, I also want it to come with a dose of reality. I do not live a perfect life. At that time, I was dealing with self-doubt, and a daily dose of anxiety.
To be honest, I am still facing those struggles.
I’ve got more mental space to navigate those feelings now, but I’m still processing them. I’ve always thought of myself as a champion for Mental Health advocacy, and when I took Child and Youth Work in college, it instilled in me a deeper understanding for the struggles people face, regardless of age. But all of that understanding and advocating did not prevent those struggles from also landing on my lap. And I thought maybe World Mental Health Day would be a good day to share some thoughts. Since you’ll see this post came out the day after World Mental Health Day, let me take this opportunity to share that I could not find the motivation or energy to put these words together yesterday. My struggle with anxiety shuts me down. I still have all sorts of creative ideas running through my brain, but anxiety puts a big wall up that stops me from going for those ideas. I’ve been working on this site for 2 months now. Maybe even longer. For perspective, this would have taken me a couple days to piece together had I just been able to focus. So I am incredibly happy to finally have this up and functional. My hope is that this can be my platform for all the good, and my outlet for the tough stuff, too. I can’t promise I’ll be posting every day just yet, but with every post I’m taking a small chip out of that wall of insecurity and fear.
Let’s keep the conversation going beyond the designated days for Mental Health. I’d love to hear your stories, and your favourite self-care tricks, so feel free to leave me a comment or reach out on one of my socials! Until the next one…