As I reflect back on the last two months my heart is filled with deep gratitude for everyone’s love & support in making YouAreMore the success it has been so far. It is hard to believe that today marks our two month anniversary since our website was launched, Nov. 26th will always have such a special place in my heart! Your guys’ willingness to come together to make a YAM family, inspiring others through your stories & acts of kindness we have touched many lives! Every time I receive messages from people all around the world either wanting to share their story, their personal struggles or sending encouraging comments has been an amazing & humbling experience for me. It is so important we all continue to recognize the importance in striving to fulfill our mission & be excited for the future with YouAreMore! Recently, we have been asked to speak at a few engagements & are in the beginning stages of designing our own clothing line! We will keep y’all updated & ask you to encourage others to stay connected with us through our Instagram & Facebook pages!
The purpose for this blog is share that tomorrow is #BellLetsTalk Day. This is an important event & has the potential to raise a lot of money for Mental Health. Bell donates 5 cents for every text message, long distance call, hashtag & share on Facebook to raise awareness for Mental Health & kill the stigma centred around it. SO PLEASE make sure y’all tweet, share, hashtag & spread the love tomorrow!
Recently, I had a personal eye-opening experience that reminded me how hurtful the stigma centred around mental health can be. This experience was truly an example of how people who lack correct understanding of mental health can unfortunately destructively promote the illness. As I have been reflecting on this personal situation, I am reminded we all struggle, we all have hurt someone, we all have a story that has made us who we are today. Some people will choose to hide their story, some will whisper it, or some will yell it. I have decided to yell mine with the intent to bring understanding & hope to those that suffer with a mental illness. I want to make sure that no one ever feels alone, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. My other purpose in yelling my story is to try & respond in a constructive manner to those that choose to abuse the stories & lives of those who have/ had a mental illness for their own personal reasons. My hope is someday that people who try to humiliate others for their past struggles as a humorous topic of discussion will recognize the harm they can cause.
For years I suffered in silence because of a stigma.. my family & friends almost lost me because of that stigma. However, I chose to live, I chose I am stronger than the stigma & people’s hurtful opinions. Millions of people along with myself don't ask to be born with this or just go through a season of this incredibly lonely illness. Mental illness is no different than a physical illness! It’s truly mind-blowing that there is a stigma around the most important organ in your body- your brain. No one should ever feel alone, crazy or unwanted for having a mental illness.
Over these past few years in my healing process, I have had my eyes & heart opened greatly. I want to live a life full of empathy, patience, understanding, forgiveness, & compassion. One of my all time favourite quotes is “Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody” which ties in with a verse from Proverbs 22:7 “Anyone can find the dirt in someone, be the one who finds the gold”. I want to be the person who is constantly seeing the best in someone, loving someone & helping someone despite their past, current obstacles, or whatever it may be. So let me take the time to say this..
You are loved despite your current obstacle & I promise you that you will overcome this. Your life is SO valuable. God loves you! I love you! People love you!
This is how I believe together we can beat the stigma. We must rise up & do what God has called us to do- LOVE one another unconditionally.
I wouldn't be here today without my amazing family & friends who have stuck by my side through thick & thin. My incredible doctors & nurses who never once made me feel I was different & who continually save countless lives everyday. I couldn’t brag enough about you all. Without them over the past four years, I wouldn’t now be running my own amazing non-profit organization, have healthy relationships & be living my life everyday to the fullest!
I will not back down to this stigma, today, tomorrow or anytime soon. I will continue to pray for the day it ends & in the mean time I will yell my story so people know they're not alone. I am so much more than my struggles, past, & insecurities. I am just short of 23 years old, I have such a bright future ahead of me! I am summer girl over winter (I get to wear my cowboy boots!). I am obsessed with pizza. I am a sucker for cute love stories. I am a HUGE country music fan. I am a London Fog lover. I am a Christian. I’ve been broken but its made me who I am today.. I am resilient. I am strong. I am beautiful flaws & all. But most importantly I am a SURVIVOR.