TESA DREW: BELL LETS TALK DAY

I write this blog in honour of Bell lets talk.. a day that has such a different meaning to me now. A day where I used to wish I was strong enough to tell someone about my struggles. Strong enough to speak up and get help. One year ago, I couldn't handle all the pain and suffering that I was experiencing anymore. I was exhausted and without hope. I was struggling alone for so long, and I truly believed I was so far gone, so empty, that no one would be able to help me. As painful as it is to think about that I tried to end my life a year ago, it is so important that I remember how far I have come. To remind myself how truly lucky I am to be alive. To remind myself that I have so many people in my life who love and support me.

This past year, I’ve done things that I never imagined possible for myself. I took risks, started a new career, moved provinces, lost friends, and made new ones. Did I struggle? of course I did. Was it hard? of course it was. I know its cliche but nothing good ever comes easy. Do I still struggle sometimes? yes. But thats all apart of life. Living and learning. Continuing to grow and learning from your mistakes. I’ve relinquished control over many aspects of my life, knowing that as much as i’d like to, I can’t control everything. I learned that I am so much more then an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. Yes they are a part of who I am, but they do not define me as a person.

I have come a long way but I definitely have a lot further to go. Its a long and hard road but one that is so worth it.

Within this past year I have come to learn a lot of things about myself that I never really knew, or at least was never conscious about. One thing for sure is that I don't like being alone. Throughout my life I have lost a lot of very important people to me, and it has left me scared of being abandoned and alone. The overwhelming fear and anxiety that something is going to go wrong and I’m going to be left alone again has ruined just about every relationship I have been in. I need to start consciously living in the moment more often, and I need to stop worrying so much about things that are out of my control, and trust that good things can happen to me, and that I deserve them to happen to me. 

Anxiety is a funny thing. It makes you think the absolute worst about every situation. It makes you feel like you will never be good enough for anyone, that you can never do anything right no matter how hard you try. It paralyzes you at times and prevents you from even completing the most simple tasks. It keeps you awake at night analyzing every conversation you've had, every little thing you've done wrong. ‘Why did that lady at the coffee shop today not smile back at me? She must not think I'm a good person, that I was being fake. I should have maybe smiled bigger, started a conversation with her, maybe I looked angry, was I angry?’ and it goes on and on and on. Sometimes even a couple of hours without a text or a call from a friend, family member, or significant other, can send your mind on a roller coaster and have you sitting there worried and thinking about the worst possible situation that could be happening or what you had possibly done wrong, when in reality they've just forgotten their phone at home. It’s important to check in with yourself when you are going through moments like that, and try to distinguish which of those thoughts are from anxiety and which of those thoughts are more realistic.

Life sucks sometimes. It will throw all sorts of curveballs your way. Loss, heartbreak, injuries, lies, fights. But thats life. We just have to learn to pick ourselves up and move on. Theres brighter days ahead.

We need to end the stigma around mental illness, so people aren't afraid to speak up and get help. I get it, you might be scared. You might think “I’m not sick enough”, “I am choosing to feel this way”, “ I don't need help I can do it on my own” “I’m not strong enough”, “ I don't matter”. But I can promise you that you are, and you do. Speak up, get help, confide in someone. I was scared. I was more scared then i’ve ever been in my entire life. I was scared what people would think of me, that people would think I was “damaged”, that I was gonna be know as the crazy girl. But I decided to do it anyways. I knew there was so much more to life and that I was on this earth for a reason, and I had to fight. I am not ashamed for the mental Illnesses that made me the person I am today. And neither should you. We are strong, we are capable, we are loved, we matter. And we are not going to let any Illness tell us otherwise. It’s okay to be scared, its okay to not be okay. I don’t want anyone to think that they are ever alone. Reach out. Take the risk. I know that I did and it was the best decision I had ever made.

You Are More xoxo