Embracing My Mental Health: beautiandbold

1. How do you view your Mental Health?

I used to never thought of my mental health. I would put it under a rug and pretend mental health isn’t important to think about because I used to be ashamed about it. I never wanted people to feel sorry for me or make it seem like  I wanted sympathy. I view my mental health as honesty and part of life. It’s part of my life to be honest with myself and face what I deal with my depression and anxiety. If I don’t then it becomes worse then it is. I view my mental health as a learning process and baby steps because each day I learn something new about my mental health. I view my mental health as being human because I’ve face it but, I’m a working progress with my mental health. 

2. What serves as your therapy?

My therapy is writing. I know it’s good to talk to someone but, for someone who truly has trust issues and letting people in, it’s hard for me to set up a therapy session with someone. With writing - writing helps me to express myself in a way I can’t express myself in speaking terms. Writing takes me to a place away from feeling alone. 

My therapy is prayer. Have you ever pray with so much emotions? Whew, it’s a feeling you can’t explain because it’s like everything you’ve been holding on to, you’ve let it go in the moment of prayer. 

3. How do you balance your emotions, behavior, attitudes?

It used to be hard to balance emotions because people would say “if you cry then you’re weak” but, I like to say if you cry then you’re human and you’re brave. I balance my emotions by letting it all out. Sometimes, I have my days where I can’t control what I feel and my mood is on another level but, reminding myself who I am and giving myself pep talks helps me to balance my emotions. Sometimes, I just want to scream it out then shake it off and I feel much better.

4. Are there any mental health stigmas you’ve supported and stood by?

Yes. I stand by depression. I remember I spoke to a customer at work who told me she’s buying a journal for her daughter because she’s super depress and she didn’t understood why. She explained to me how her daughter received her master degree, has a great career and has two great parents. She couldn’t possibly be depress but, I explain to her that yes she has the degree, the career and two great parents but, she probably feels empty inside. Depression is something serious and most people assume if you’re life isn’t going well then that would make you depress even more but, that’s far from the truth. Your life can go very well but, if you’re feeling alone on the inside then no matter what you have, it’s all about what you have within. 

5. What have you learned about mental health that you did not know?

The best thing I’ve learned about mental health is it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to think of your mental health first and stay away from anyone or anything that’s toxic for your mental health. I needed to remind myself how important I am and I’m not weak for not being okay. 

6. Do you believe that mental health issues are throughout your family? Perhaps overlooked?

I love my family but, my childhood was based on “what happens in this house, stays in this house” and with that phrase can really become overwhelming for someone because holding everything in hurts more than anything(feels like you’re suffering in silence). My family never talk about mental health. It’s never a discuss that my family and I ever had because mental health isn’t serious to them as much as it is to me. 

7. On days that can be challenging, how do you nurture yourself?

Challenging days, I tend shut everything off and lock myself in a room and don’t want to be bother but, once that goes away. Here comes my journal and pen ready to write a story or write all my emotions into my journal. Once, I’m done writing then I pray and learn to put my trust in God because I sometimes feel like I’m alone but, he always make me feel like I’m not ....

8. How are you helping spread the word on mental health awareness?

    Beautiful & Bold is my baby. I birth it two years ago, I was completely lost in the beginning but, as time goes by my baby became a positive, uplifting, loving site to help those to laugh, smile, to feel loved and more importantly to feel like they’re enough. I know how it feels like “maybe I’m not enough” , “maybe I don’t deserve to be on earth”, “maybe I’m behind in life” but, those emotions are negativity that are pulling you away from your greatness. I love to make people smile, laugh and feel loved(I feel like I have my grandmother spirit). Every Monday I sent out a personal letter to incredible women to remind themselves how wonderful they are and remind themselves what they’re doing with their life is amazing plus I sometimes give them that tough love to become careless about others opinions. 

Stacey Hector 

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Rebekah Boykins