More Than Enough: Personal Reflections on Mental Health Awareness Month

May 2, 2023

May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States since 1949. The aim of this month-long event is to combat misinformation and promote mental health awareness nationwide. It encompasses various initiatives such as fighting against mental illness stigma, providing support, educating the public, and advocating for mental health policies.

More Than Enough

This year, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is commemorating Mental Health Awareness Month with the “More Than Enough” campaign. This campaign encourages us to recognize our inherent worth, irrespective of our diagnoses, appearance, socioeconomic status, background or abilities. Hopefully, everyone knows that waking up today is more than enough, and that you are inherently worthy of love, healing, and living a fulfilling life. Just being yourself and showing up for yourself and those around you is more than enough.

Personal Struggles

I have been grappling with mental illness for the past decade, and it has been a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Despite studying educational psychology and counseling, I have never really applied the concepts of self-awareness, acceptance, and self-care to myself. I struggle with depression, which makes my heart feel incredibly uncomfortable in a multitude of situations and often leads me to tears. Initially, I tried to distract myself and put on a positive facade, but that only made matters worse when my depressive episodes resurfaced.

The Turning Point

Last year, I was on the brink of taking my own life and admitted myself to the hospital. This experience served as a wake-up call for me to realize the importance of acceptance, and one person in particular helped me with this. In school, I have a professor who has been incredibly kind, compassionate, and accepting, no matter how difficult my situation may be. Whenever I need someone to talk to, he is always there to lend an ear. He never judges me or offers advice, but simply listens and hears me out fully. He shows me unwavering acceptance every time I seek support from him. Since my hospital experience, I have learned from his example, making a real effort to accept parts of myself that I previously wanted to escape from. This has been a difficult process, but I have made real progress in accepting the ugly parts of myself we all possess. I still face struggles, but I am learning to acknowledge and accept them as a part of who I am.

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