Growing up there were many people in my life who were experiencing mental health difficulties such as addiction and depression. It was never fully talked about, mainly hushed conversations between aunts and uncles but I was always aware such problems existed.
I never completely understood what mental illness was and how it affected a person and since nothing was wrong with me, I selfishly chose to forget about it. Anytime a friend came to me with a problem I’d always just tell them to get over it. Looking back now I know I could have, and should have, acted differently.
After facing my own struggles my mind was definitely blown. I had a whole new understanding of the term “mental health”. I’m actually thankful for that experience because now I have an idea of how to be there for those around me and offer my full support. I appreciate all my friends and family, even strangers, in a whole new way. It’s funny that in order to become the best person I could be, I had to feel like the worst.