Mental Health Awareness Month

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May is mental health awareness month. I’ll be sharing some stories, feelings, artwork, artists, and coping skills throughout the month that have helped me understand my mental health.

I’ve been very inactive on my blog due in part because of my struggles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Blogging is extremely connected with my mental health and my creativity has suffered because of this.

In October 2016, after a series of horrible health crises, I connected with some words from The Prophet by Kahill Gibran.

And after becoming more educated on PTSD, depression, and anxiety, I’ve returned to the words. Because they hold true for mental health as well.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

kahill gibran, the prophet

Pain, whether it be physical or mental, is always going to be part of life. It’s not something you banish forever. Or something you kill. It’s part of a cycle that we cannot escape.

So acknowledge and honor your physical and mental pain. Recognize your anger, bitterness, and hopelessness. Those are valid feelings that need to be felt.

But also acknowledge the other side. Take note of the growth you’ve gone through and the empathy and compassion for yourself and others that you’ve cultivated.

Reach for the sun. It’s always there even when you can’t see or feel it.

Tattoo Design

Mental Health Awareness image: A plant grows out of a peach pit, reaching towards a sun. Roots also grow out of the bottom of the peach pit.

From the quote, I decided to create an image that I could transcribe on my body. A declaration if you will, to serve as a reminder that physical and mental pain is a part of life. It’s growth. And don’t you worry, I’ll be taking some self-portraits that showcase my tattoos.

You can read more about the specifics of this month’s mental health awareness campaign here.

Keep reaching for the light y’all.

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