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It’s my birthday today and I am so very proud and happy that it falls on World Mental Health Day! In fact, I didn’t know until today that there was a World Mental Health Day and that every year it will fall on my birthday! I am inspired to write publicly for the first time about my own mental health issues. If mental health scares you, read on.

At twenty one years old, I had what my therapist and parents told me was a nervous breakdown.  To me it just felt like a lid inside me popped off releasing the fluid parts of body; my emotions, my thoughts and my fears while my solid parts, my bones, skin and body were left to deal.

No longer held tight, my thoughts and emotions crashed and receded and crashed again in my heart like a tsunami from a foreign land.

None of my friends or family really understood it; I didn’t either. I had kept a jovial, smiling, gregarious exterior for twenty-one years and all of a sudden I couldn’t put that person forward any longer.

I had to navigate through this emotional storm with a so-so therapist from my home town until slowly I regained my confidence and ability to function. I was afraid most days. I was afraid of my thoughts, they were really negative. I wrote in journals. I tried my best. It wasn’t easy.

Looking back, I realize that I had repressed my feelings from childhood. Plus, my family has a history of depression and anxiety so I believe there was a chemical predisposition for mental health issues, maybe even passed down through the cells of my ancestors.

It took me years to find self happiness, self love and how to give myself self care. I am proud that I am a survivor of a nervous breakdown or whatever it was. I will continue to speak about it.

I am grateful to those in public spheres who speak about their own battles with mental health. When I was twenty one mental health was not okay to talk about. Today, it is becoming more acceptable.

Acceptance is the key to healing and I am tremendously grateful I found it.

For more reading check out Forbes, Why you Should Pay Attention To World Mental Health Day.