How I Got Better at Sharing My Story – My Brain’s Not Broken

Let’s be honest: talking about mental health is difficult. It’s broad, it can seem all-encompassing, and because everyone has their own experience, it can get complicated very quickly. Conversations about mental health can often be overwhelming, and because of this, we can’t always find the solutions we need. While talking about mental health and mental illness is difficult, talking about our own mental health is even more difficult. People may find it impossible to talk about their own mental health; In fact, some people never open up about this part of their life. It may involve very personal experiences and emotions that you have never shared with anyone, and the stigma associated with mental health problems could also play a role. When I was first dealing with mental health issues, I wasn’t good at opening up. But somewhere in the last ten years, I got better at sharing my story. Here’s how it happened and how it changed the way I look at myself and my mental health challenges.

I have always had a hard time talking about myself. I attribute it to a lack of self-esteem, an introverted nature, whatever you want to call it, but for a long time I have felt uncomfortable talking about myself and my own experience. But I do think that, beyond my own insecurities and struggles, it is a real challenge when it comes to talking about our experiences. Regardless of how confident we feel, there are many factors to consider when talking about ourselves, especially when it comes to something that can be as sensitive as mental health.

When I first started dealing with anxiety and depression, I had a hard time talking about it. Beyond my own challenge, it also felt like a logistical puzzle. How much should you tell someone? How much do they care? Am I sharing too much or providing too many unnecessary details? When I speak, do I make sense?

These questions (and a million others) are what often get in the way of people opening up. Things quickly become overwhelming and people can’t have the conversation they were hoping to have. This not only perpetuates the stigma surrounding mental health, but also makes it difficult for people to open up about the more personal aspects of their lives.

In the ten years that I have lived with anxiety and depression, I can confidently say that I have improved by sharing my story and talking about my own mental health. When I think about how I got better at this, I always came back to one thought: go forward. The first time I told my story, I felt extremely uncomfortable. The second time, the third time, the fourth time… same thing. But at some point, talking about this became easier. I learned to use the right words, which gave me confidence to be precise in what I said. I became more comfortable being vulnerable and stayed stronger in my story. No matter where you are in sharing your story, I hope you have the courage to keep telling it.

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