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Happy Bell Let's Talk Day!

Hello everyone!


Today is January 28th, 2021, which means it's Bell Let's Talk Day!


What is it?


A day when people around the world share their mental health stories and be open and honest about their feelings. It started in Canada by our cell phone carrier, Bell.


Bell Let's Talk is very important to me. I've suffered from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, agoraphobia (a fear of leaving the house due to anxiety), PTSD, OCD, and hypochondria for years. I'd say the entirety of my life.


That's a lot -- I know.


How did it start? Well, I had a rough childhood. I was bullied relentlessly for years -- both verbally and physically. Even to this day, I still have nightmares and PTSD symptoms from it.


It would trigger my anxiety and depression. Not many know -- it's not something I share too freely -- but I'm on disability for agoraphobia. I was really hoping to get help for it in 2020, but then the pandemic hit and it shut down EVERYTHING -- including therapy.


I live with my parents and get paid a small amount a month. It's enough to pay the bills, my rent, and food with my parents assisting. It's been both a curse and a blessing -- a blessing for me to be able to stay home all day and write, but a curse because I can't go anywhere or live my life.


(Not that you can go anywhere now with the pandemic, lol.)


Mental illness runs through my family, and there is research that supports the theory that it can be genetic. I have no doubt the bullying made it worse.


(Words hurt -- remember that. Treat people with kindness.)


I'm very passionate about mental health and getting help to people who need it. Therapy is difficult -- trust me. It's hard to find the right therapist who you feel comfortable with and has the tools and experience to help you. Not to mention the long waiting lists and people not understanding what you're going through.


Not only do you have to struggle with mental illness, but with stigma and disbelief, too.


If no one has told you today, I will.


You are valued.

You are loved.

You are special.

It's okay not to be okay.

It's okay to reach out for help.

You're not weak, silly, too sensitive, or stupid.

YOU MATTER!


Take care of yourself and your mental health today -- and every day.


If you need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to reach out. My inbox is always open!




Sincerely,


Dana

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