Being Open About My Struggles

being open about my struggles

being open about my struggles

And learning to overcome.

I have always been pretty open about my struggles in life. I don’t talk about them because I am seeking attention, or because I want others to feel sorry for me, or because I just don’t care about my past. For me, it goes far beyond keeping my struggles locked away and long forgotten as if they never happened. It is about learning.

I choose to be open about my struggles primarily for two reasons. The first is to create a better life for myself. If I can learn from my past, I am hoping that it will help me to live a better and brighter future. The second reason is the one that I am most passionate about. I chose to be open about my struggles to help change the lives of others.

So, the first reason… Nothing was ever going to get better for me in life if I didn’t admit that I had multiple diseases, and if I didn’t find a way to cope with my diseases.

I have tried numerous coping methods throughout my battle. From counseling, to medication, to so called “healthy” living, and finally, writing about my emotions.

I currently still taking medication for my depression. Think what you want about medication and pharmaceuticals. Some might be for them, others might be against them. It really just comes down to personal preference and personal beliefs.

Aside from medication, I have also found writing my emotions to be just as equally helpful. It provides me with a sense of relief when I am able to share what I am thinking, while thinking that my writing might be helping someone overcome their battles.

In the midst of my struggles, I really missed being able to connect with someone and having that someone who could truly relate to what I was going through. That someone who was in a similar situation that I was facing and knew how I felt. Basically, a young soul that was willing to admit any type of illness or imperfection.

Of course I had the support of my family, which was the difference between fighting, and just giving up. Ultimately, it was the love and the encouragement from my family that helped to save my life, and that helped me overcome my struggles. But there was only so much that they could relate to.

My sisters were out in the real world, and my parents were more than twice my age. How could they possibly know what it was like to be in your early twenties, and have to deal with depression and an eating disorder? As if these illnesses weren’t enough, try dealing with them as a young male. Most guys in their twenties are far too stubborn to admit that they got dumped, nevertheless admitting to battling depression, an eating disorder, or any other illness.

I was in my early twenties when I was diagnosed with depression. This is what led to my eating disorder, and ultimately, my anxiety. The truth is, guys my age are not normally open about their lives. I didn’t even feel comfortable telling my closest friends. And that is what I am trying to help and change.

That is my motivation behind me being open about my struggles. I want others to be able to relate to me. That is something that I wish was available throughout my battle. Even though several of my family members dealt with depression and some type of eating disorder, I never really knew about them because it is not something that was talked about unless asked.

Well, I don’t want to wait for someone to come and ask me how to cope with one of the illnesses that I have suffered from. I would rather share my story with the world to help that one person in finding the comfort to admit that they have a disease.

I want other males and females to know that there is nothing wrong with admitting that they have a mental illness, because that is the first step to recovery. And I want others to know that there are survivors out there that really are here to help.

It doesn’t matter your age or your gender, we all deal with different struggles in life. But we are only as strong as our greatest weakness. It is time that we put an end to any shame that stems from disease. It is time that we come together, and talk about our illnesses so that others, who might be scared, have someone to relate to. Making a positive impact in the world is my motivation for being open about my struggles. What is yours?

Michael Bonnell

10/6/2018

 

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