Her Rebirth was Stunning,
She lifted herself up
From the depths of despair,
Grasped her dreams,
Embedded them in her heart,
And walked forward into
A future that only her will
And vision could control.
This Yung Pueblo quote I shared at the March launch event for my non-profit project, SeekHer Foundation, beautifully captured what it represented - a woman's rise & resilience to redefine womanhood on her own terms.
But what most people didn't know back then was that a few days prior, I had suffered a mental breakdown that debilitated me for days. It was one of many that occurred throughout the past several months, resulting from a traumatic event that triggered a cascade of emotional timebombs that had laid dormant for decades...
And my reason for starting SeekHer.
For much of 2019, I was caught in a minefield of anxiety and depression. At times, I didn't know if I would make it through the day. It felt like I was running uphill on the steepest incline for months, with each step becoming harder than the next that I'd fear, "Is this ever going to end?"
I withdrew for weeks at a time, ridden with immense guilt and shame — "How dare I feel this way when I'm so privileged and have been given so much in life."
But I gave it everything I could - talk therapy, alternative healing, and mindfulness practices. I worked hard on my inner dialogue - one that was conditioned through various cultural & intergenerational factors, and had become especially harsh & cruel.
Then one day, the relief arrived. It was a strange calm and lightness that I couldn't recall ever feeling before.
After decades of living in a narrative where I believed I was never enough, I finally internalized the message that I am good enough.
And I felt whole.
I hold myself back from saying 'whole again', because for the first time in my life...I actually am.
I'm sharing this today on World Mental Health Day in solidarity with all who have been impacted by mental health challenges. I'm immensely grateful for both the awareness I cultivated through my work at WellSeek, and my privilege that gave me access to care...but it's not lost on me that I am one of the lucky ones.
Research has shown that for those who seek help, 42% still report financial barriers and 38% experience limited access in their communities. Beyond that, there is still so much work to be done to break the stigma - 31% still hold themselves back for fear of judgment for seeking care.
As humans, we are meant to experience life for all its highs and lows...and we all deserve support no matter what walks of life we come from.
If you or someone you know needs support, I'd like to offer this:
You are not the embodiment of your pain. You are not defined by your struggles. Because -