“The bravest thing you’ll ever do is tell your story!”-Brene Brown
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know this is one of my favorite quotes. It took me over 16 years to tell my families mental health story. I am the daughter of a woman who daily lives and struggles with a mental illness.
In my 42 years on this earth, I’ve always cared deeply and taken care of others in my life. In a lot of ways, I’ve just gone through the motions. Then the year 2018 hit and I experienced some of the most profound grief I’ve felt in ages: nine family/friends lost to death. I was paralyzed by my grief yet I keep moving forward: most days in a fog.
I did a lot of work that next year to move myself out of that grief. And I did find my way out of it. However, that grief still was unknowingly clinging to me. I’ve been moving through life at half speed or less than half speed. There are so many dreams I want to fulfill but I’ve procrastinated for so long. Today I’m choosing to move forward.
The last year (2020) has taught me that I’m more resilient than I give myself credit for. And the last month, my world has been blessed by an amazing crew in Tik Tok. Their words have cracked open the facid I’ve been living and I am emerging as a beautiful butterfly who is slowly gaining her wings to fly at full strength.
I look at my phone screen and I see a new woman or perhaps not a new woman but the same woman that’s always been underneath the shell of grief and fear, she just needed to be cracked open.
The world is beginning to see a woman who is now more confident than she’s ever been. The world is seeing a woman that so many have known fully but others only know partially. The world is seeing a woman who is lighter and brighter than she’s been in ages. In the words of Amanda Gorman, I’m finally fully brave enough to see the light and be the light. And for that I’m so incredibly thankful. Yet thank you doesn’t even seem to be enough!
So as my thank you, I will live each day moving forward with new vigor and energy. I will continue to show the world the woman you all have seen from the beginning. I will embody what it means to move forward knowing that the struggles, the hard times they don’t define us.