I am Amanda Grace. I am a full time working mama of 2 beautiful sassy girlies and 1 handsome husband. I started blogging a few years ago and have recently published a blog the Blue Bird Journals. My goal for blogging is to inspire and support other parents. I want others to know that they are not alone in tough times and that they have someone to celebrate the good times with too! I truly believe the corny saying ‘sharing is caring’. ❤️
In the spirit of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day I would like to share a bit about what mental health means to me and my family.
When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It is something that has stuck with me and I have had to deal with several times in my life. I have shared this with many people in my life and I think for some, it comes as a surprise, or at least I have been told this from time to time. I am a very happy person, always smiling and always looking on the bright side of things. So how can such a happy person be a person with depression? My response usually goes a little something like this: “Well, having depression and anxiety does not make me a negative person, it does not define me. It means there are times in my life when I can’t seem to find that happiness. Something in my brain isn’t working the same as your brain and I feel depressed. I am able to put on a happy face when I need to but there is more going on in my life in those moments then what you see on the surface.”
It is definitely something that is hard to explain. I know when it comes to the time when I have to explain my mental health illness to my daughters, I am going to struggle to find the right words. Not because I am ashamed but because I want them to know I’m okay no matter what. I have learned how to deal with my depression and anxiety. And even on really bad days, I have learned that it will be okay.
One thing that may be different about my story then some others, and I am so thankful for, is that I have been beyond lucky to have a very supportive family who got me on the right track and helped me in learning to take care of my mental health issues. This, for me, has meant counseling, medication and lifestyle changes.
So when that day comes to share my story with my daughters I not only want to show them that having mental health issues does not define you but I want to lead by example to show that there is a lot of strength and resilience that comes from having these issues.
I know there is a chance that one of my daughters will grow up to have a mental health issue at some point in her life. And just as my family did, I want them to know they are supported, loved and that they too will be okay. I want them to feel like the world is not judging them for it.
So for today, let’s talk. Let’s share our stories and our support for mental health. Being a mom is hard enough as it is and we are judged all the time, so let’s start here. Because all moms with or without a mental health illness deserve our support today and everyday.