I haven’t posted a blog or video as regularly as I usually do within the last month. One reason for this is because I am exploring an additional way to expand my reach to inspire and enact transformational changes in the lives of people beyond my therapy room. Another reason is to ensure I’m continuing to show up fully and as my authentic self for my children and my clients, as I explore new opportunities!
However, it is mental health awareness month and I am passionate about increasing awareness around mental health needs, supports and contributors. Child Mind Institute had a marvelous idea to challenge celebrities who struggle with mental health, to share a video of them speaking to their younger selves. What would they have wanted themselves to hear or to know? Check it out here: https://childmind.org/myyoungerself/
Since I silently struggled with my own mental health as a child and teen, I decided to take this challenge and write to my younger self. I will share that with you in blog form today, and I will also be putting out a video for the challenge.
My hope is that my vulnerability in sharing this brief note to my younger self, sheds some light on and removes some stigma surrounding, mental health in our world and culture.
I see you. I know you don’t want that. I know you’re hiding your anxiety and depression underneath all of those perfectionistic tendencies and attempts to fit in. I know no one knows. I know you’re scared no one will love you for who you are if you’re not giving so much of yourself to benefit them in some way. I know you’re lonely and tired. I know you wonder if you’ll ever fully know or fulfill your purpose. I know you’re asking if there is a point to it all.
I know you’re in pain.
I’m your future self though, so I know some other things too. You know how you feel like you’re totally alone and no one could possibly get it? It’s not really true. If you are willing to let them in, there are people who care, who will listen, and who’ve felt the way you’re feeling right now. Talk to them.
You know how you feel like you don’t fit in? Well, you can stop trying to do that. You’re actually amazingly beautiful out there in the wilderness, being your own unique self. That whole square peg in the round hole thing doesn’t work out- it makes things worse.
Also, you know how you are super compassionate and accepting of everyone else? I learned that you need to be that kind of friend to yourself first. Be your own best friend and love on yourself and the world tends to look and feel totally different.
Oh, and those naysayers- they don’t disappear. They aren’t your problem though. You get to choose to expend your energy on the people who want to drag you down and are put off by your positivity. You can also choose not to focus on them, and just engage with the people who genuinely care about you and want to build each other up. It’s actually a choice. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.
Lastly, that whole not being good enough thing- it’s BS. If you believe you’re good enough then you are. You are going to achieve every single one of your life goals, yet none of those achievements will fulfill you unless you truly believe you are worthy, lovable and good enough.
Toni, you are loved.
P.S. Your purpose is to help and heal and you’ve been doing that for as long as you can remember. Use those gifts and you will help change the world one moment and one person at a time.
What would you say to your younger self?
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, there is help out there. I know it’s not always easy to find, but the benefits are worth the search.
If you are interested in connecting with me, send an email over and we can set up a free phone consultation to see if I could be a good fit: email@example.com