Heather Restrepo is a Lifestyle Writer and food, wellness and family blogger who lives in Oahu, Hawaii. She believes that raising awareness for mental health and mental illness. Below you can read Heather’s personal story and extended pledge. Thank you Heather for your pledge & COMMITment!
“I personally have dealt with anxiety for my entire life. I won’t get too far in to the details here, because I am working on a post that will share the full story. But simply put, I have memories from childhood – of anxiety. It’s at most times, never been easy to deal with.
It’s been a treacherous journey, but there’s no way that I could continue to progress, grow, or even just show-up to my responsibilities, if it wasn’t for TALKING ABOUT IT! Sharing my struggles, receiving help when needed — whether it be encouragement from friends, love/support from family, or even professional guidance. The most freeing fact that I’ve gained from it all has been, that I am not meant to be perfect. However, I fully understand that I am very fortunate to have always been blessed with the help/support that I have needed, and it deeply saddens me to know that this is not the case for so many – so many that have even more debilitating mental ailments compared to me! 🙁
Regardless, it’s still not an easy feat for me with anxiety that can sometimes be a rollercoaster. It can have no effect on me for periods of time, but then in other instances/seasons, make life way more difficult than need be. The most recent difficulty being not too long ago while my husband was sent out of the country for work. I remember that wrapped around my thoughts and emotions was an ugly and tattered ribbon of SHAME. I felt shame for not being the “perfect” military wife. You know, the one who is also the star of her children’s PTA, head honcho of the military wives “Family Readiness Group” (I’m not even a part of that group!); the same “perfect” wife who also without-a-grimace dutifully waves her active duty husband off at the airport or military airfield and doesn’t resist to zero or sparse communication from wherever they’re going to this time. I felt shame for simply just not feeling okay emotionally or for not “being” “stronger”.
And that, is what sparked this article. This is not only my public pledge to the mission of The Commit Campaign, (the resource-abundant photo-based movement breaking the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness), but it’s also my fight against the shame that has caused me a great deal of pain throughout life.
So, without further ado…
- I commit to ending the stigma associated with mental health, mental illness and suicide.
- I commit to take responsibility for the words I speak and know that they have an impact on people around me.
- I commit to stop using the phrase ‘committed suicide’ and replace it with ‘died by suicide.’
- I commit to educating others on how to properly communicate on these topics in politically correct manners.
- I commit to being an ally for those that live with mental illness. I commit to stand up and educate others who believe that living with a mental illness is a choice.
- I commit to my own healing journey of balancing my body-soul-spirit connection and being open to sharing it, with the goal of helping others along the path.”
Click here to read more on Heather’s mental health awareness blog post!
Follow Heather on social media here:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/balancedlifealoha
A special thank you again to Heather for sharing her story and pledge!
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Text ‘HOME’ to 741741 for free crisis help anywhere in the US anytime.
If you want to share your story you can visit the ‘Share your Story‘ section under our Blog tab on our website. By giving your testimony you can help to create a larger network of those that have experienced mental health issues, mental illness or suicide loss.