You may remember that I actively participated in a few quiet campaigns last year for Mental Health Awareness Month, but I was admittedly scared and skeptical of the potential judgement and/or pity I’d be opening myself up to. However, time changes your perspective. Although early childhood literacy will always remain a cause near and dear to my heart, my mission in life has clearly become inspiring young girls to embrace their bodies and minds for each and every quirk, imperfection, and perceived deficiency through promoting the importance of mental health and eating disorder awareness.
It’s so important for us to change the way we think about mental health, and with today’s generation plagued by cyber bullies, standards of unobtainable perfection, and societal pressure, I’m finally ready to come forward with my own story in an attempt to reach anyone who may be currently suffering. Remember, 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental illness in a given year. If you’re that lucky person, you’re clearly not alone.
You can read my personal story here. I genuinely hope my decade-long journey will inspire young girls to not fall victim to the unobtainable modern standards of physical perfection, like the way I’ve been affected for roughly half of my life. Love yourself and have no shame in being your own best friend. In case you do start experiencing body dysmorphic tendencies or subliminal confusion, there is always help. There is always somebody who will listen. Mental illness isn’t a choice; it’s a disease. Just like a physical disorder, you seek treatment to mitigate the pain and make yourself better.
Show support for those who are coping with their conditions by wearing green this month, even if it’s just a subtle pair of green stud earrings or a small ribbon, it symbolizes something so much bigger. The more comfortable we become talking about mental health, the less of the stigma will remain and the more sufferers will feel empowered to seek treatment.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from one of the many colors of mental illness, please reach out and explore some of the resources I personally utilized during my eating disorder recovery (listed below). I’m always more than willing to chat with you, so feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions in complete confidence.
Helpful and Free Eating Disorder Awareness and Support Resources
1. National Eating Disorders Association | Confidential Helpline, 1-800-931-2237
3. Proud2Bme Organization (Building a Nation Where Confidence Rules) | View Forums Here
9. Help Guide (Therapy for Anxiety Disorders)