Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month. 

I think it’s incredibly important to talk about mental health. I strive to be an advocate for those dealing with mental illnesses. 

Mental health is something i’ve always struggled with personally. I used to battle depression. I wage war with my anxiety every single day; some days are literally paralyzing and others I can finally catch my breath. I don’t think that if I told you that I have poor mental health you would ever know. I’m usually very bubbly, social and outgoing; I hide my anxiety well, I keep it to myself, and I have my own mechanisms to get through it. that’s the thing though – mental illness is an illness even though we can’t see it. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Just because you don’t experience it doesn’t mean it isn’t real. 

We tend to put our care for our mental health in a box, wrap it up, and store it away with all our seasonal decorations. We brush it off as exhaustion, worry, lack of motivation, etc. and we say to ourselves, “this is life” and we accept it and then spiral downwards. But life shouldn’t feel like a chore. It shouldn’t be a dread to get out of bed. You shouldn’t constantly have to feel sorry or worried about everything you do. You shouldn’t need to grind your life away in order to survive.

Life is so much more than all of that. Life is more than the small moments when you feel hopeless or depressed or anxious. Trust me, i’ve been through it. I know what it’s like to feel like there’s nothing left for you. I know what it feels like to feel so much pressure on you, you feel like you might die. It saddens me when people think these feelings are over dramatic or insignificant. You cannot just stop what you are feeling in the blink of an eye.  It is HEAVY and CONTROLLING. It isn’t just a normal feeling you can talk yourself out of. 

Mental health is SO real and SO prevalent in today’s society with all the pressure and societal, financial, educational, (and so many more) standards put on EVERYONE. We need to be there for each other. Qe need to remember that EVERYONE is human and everyone has a story. We’ve all hit rock bottom, some have hit it more than others, but I will never be the one to see you at the bottom and not stick out my hand to try and help you get up from it. I want to lift others up as much as I can. if you’re at rock bottom, look towards the light. I am here for you. there are brighter days. you are loved and so valued. 

TL;DR – Remember to be kind. I hope you text your friend and ask how they are doing and truly listen. I hope you take care of yourself first.  

My Takeaway on Taylor Swift’s ‘Miss Americana’

I watched Miss Americana, Taylor Swift’s new documentary on Netflix.

here’s my takeaway: I realized that having a voice is sacred. using your voice is a choice and with it, you need to realize the words you speak and w

rite have impact. like Taylor, I used to, and still do, write about my life in journals and diaries. it’s therapy for me and it’s allowed me to confront demons and itches and very real emotions head on, while being transparent about it all – because through reflection, I have realized we have all experienced what it feels like to be holding our breath under water. we all just want someone who can understand these incredibly deep emotions, even when it’s hard to connect or impossible to be vulnerable.

watching this documentary has really set my perspective straight; use. your. voice. whether it’s for politics, advice, opinions, poetry, or anything else, you need to express yourself. there was a part in the documentary where Taylor really wanted to vocalize her political standpoint, which is something she hadn’t done in her whole career. Taylor’s team, made up of mostly men and her father, encouraged her to stay silent. can you believe that? even a woman with so much power and knowledge and articulation was trying to be silenced. this part really spoke to me because I feel like there are so many women out there who are being discouraged from voicing how they feel or holding back from standing up for what’s right.

we should all feel empowered to be authentically ourselves and be loud about it. 

Taylor’s music has gotten me through heartbreak, happiness, and other huge moments. it reminds me of what’s real. it helps me feel less alone because someone out there, gets it. so here i am, using my voice to tell you to watch the documentary, even if you don’t like Taylor. you will learn a lot about what it’s like to be human, you will see the benefits and downsides of being completely transparent, the trials of being a woman, and what it’s like to have a voice so loud, even in a world full of clatter and noise. 

Being Alone Isn’t The Worst Thing

The other day my Co-Star app told me, “Get comfortable being alone.” and I couldn’t help but laugh. I have lived my whole life alone. Of course I have my friends and family, so i’m never lonely, but I have always been “alone” or people like to tell me i’m “free spirited”, which I think they say to make me feel better LOL

Honestly, I think there’s a stigma against aloneness. It’s not a bad thing, it’s not sad, and it can be a choice. I ALWAYS get asked, “So Katie… do you have a boyfriend yet?”

AS CRAZY AS IT SOUNDS: sometimes the journey isn’t about romantic love, sometimes it’s about healing, growth, and self-love. Figuring it out on your own. Learning to live independently. My journey looks a LOT different than everyone else’s in my life, but that’s okay.

Being alone has given me the opportunity to know myself better- I mean really peel back the layers and understand what I truly desire and believe in, and to grow into who I want to be without pressure from anyone else. It’s about learning to love yourself without relying on others to love you. I feel like I care for others better because I have learned to care for myself better. You really learn to be on your own team and to own your self-worth.

And there’s no point in being bitter about it. I have learned to have faith and trust in the universe and God, or whatever or whoever you believe in. It can be scary, the thought of being alone, but it is not the worst thing to happen to you. It never will be. You will find someone in due time, I promise. There is a whole world out there and you shouldn’t settle just because you don’t want to be alone.

So if for whatever reason you are terrified of being alone, i’m here to tell you it isn’t all that bad, coming from someone who has years of experience with it. In fact, it’s cloudless. Soak it up and take advantage of being in charge of you and only you. Get to know yourself and truly care for yourself instead of seeking that from someone else.

Being alone can be a choice, and it’s a pretty dang good one.

A Dreamer’s Dream

I often dream of myself walking through the streets of Rome, savoring the golden sunlight. I’m alone but I’m enjoying every second. My soul is restless but it is whole.

In this dream, I can taste every fruit at once, flavors taking their time to know my tongue. I breathe in bliss and exhale every moment that came before this one. I carry a journal, that is home to my thoughts about how this city carries herself with effortless beauty; chaotic but grounded.

My head never falls low. I am an explorer, never staying still, all while standing secure in inspiration. I print my lips on wine glasses and smeared ink finds it’s way on my skin from all the poems written at some cliche café. In this dream, I am out of my element and alone, but I am found.

What? Can’t a girl dream?