What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?
Since being diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder at the age of 17, I have struggled loving myself and treating myself kindly, both mentally and physically. Starting in college, moments of panic and anxiety led to self-harm in various forms. Heavy drinking in college led to an endless loop of hangover anxiety and depression that often lasted days, only for the cycle to start over. This continued at least two years into my professional career. At the age of 28, I’m finally learning to appreciate and love myself as the only human or thing I should love more than anything and truly take care of my mental health.
What resources have helped you to address this challenge?
The safe and lovely community at The Yoga Studio in Rapid City has truly saved me. The teachers encourage self-love and appreciation of our bodies and our breath as sources of life. Having struggled with my relationship with myself, being reminded in every class that I have one body that serves me in every unique way has been a saving grace.
Based on your experience, how can we work to build resilience in ourselves, our loved ones, and in our communities to better face life’s challenges?
Modeling self-love and self-care is so important in building a resilient community. That starts with safe, judgement-free spaces. I hope my loved ones know that they are not a burden to me, and if time to rest their bodies and minds replaces our plans, I am just as happy.
What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand?
I wish people understood that we are human beings, not human doings. It’s so important to listen to our minds and our bodies. If you need to rest, then rest. Cancel those plans, take that sick day, do something that makes you happy because at the end of the day, the relationship you have with yourself should be the most important.