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To read more, check out the featured post here: https://www.ibelieve.com/health-beauty/when-mental-health-becomes-your-reality.html

The first time I heard the words “mental health,” I was fourteen years old. My Dad had just been put on disability due to four unsuccessful hernia surgeries, and it was clear something beyond his physical pain was occurring. 

Growing up, I saw family members participate in things they shouldn’t. Drugs, alcohol, gangs, violence, overdoses, theft, and physical abuse were on the ever-growing list. But as a child, all I knew and understood was that those things were bad and those people were “sick.” I always prayed that I wouldn’t turn out “sick” and addicted to bad things like them. 

But when almost every man in my life that surrounded me began to transform before my eyes I was broken, scared, and confused. I didn’t understand how these people could love me dearly, yet cause so much chaos and destruction in my upbringing. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t just stop their addictions, stop being mean, and stop yelling at me for no reason. I always wondered why my mom cried on Saturdays and could barely pull herself out of bed. I questioned why she worked 8+ hours a day, only to live in a high-functioning state from the second she walked in the door, till her feet finally plopped in her bed. 

Growing to Understand

Today, I consider it a blessing that I’ve grown to understand what the phrase “mental health” means more deeply. And as odd and terrible as it sounds, I’m thankful that I’ve experienced the tragedies it often brings because I firmly believe that only those who’ve walked this treacherous and painful path understand it. And only those who’ve walked and understood it to their core can then in turn help others through it.