“If you have personally gone through mental health difficulties recently or in the past, please stand up.” 80% of the 500 students sitting in the auditorium stood. And all of us were blissfully unaware of how many of us were going through similar things. People who seemed to have their lives all together on the outside, didn’t. And it was finally realized that the second people started to stand up, their silent suffering was over. Every single person who stood in that room could’ve been going through different things, but we were all still standing together.
No matter how bad we feel, we aren’t alone in our experiences and it’s that light at the end of the tunnel that keeps us going. And none of us are alone.
We’re all hurting in a way, and that’s okay. But if you ever feel like you’re stuck and can’t get out or are afraid people will think of you differently because you feel a certain way, just know you’re not alone. Whether you’re quiet about it or not, we’ve all got our own difficulties, and whether we’re pushing them away or opening up, we can understand each other to some extent.
You’re not alone, whether you believe you are or not. Each of us have our own share of problems, and they aren’t quite the same as everyone else’s. However, we can relate to each other in some way, and it’s that which proves we aren’t alone.
Mental health isn’t just a negative thing. Mental health is growing. When the word “difficulties'' or “issues” are added to it then it can become negative. But it’s important to not ignore it, positive or negative. Maintaining our mental health is vital to help us grow as people. One of the most incredible things a person can do is face their fears and doubts in order to learn from them and become better people, and being honest about our mental health is the first step to do so.
In a conversation with my therapist, I realized how ignorant some people are to what their own mental health state is. I, for a while, was in denial about the fact I could feel so badly about myself. I tried to come up with logical reasons, but I never put it on my mental state. It wasn’t until this year I accepted that maybe something was wrong and that pushing away my feelings wasn’t going to do anything but hurt me. But I was afraid. What if I couldn’t talk to anyone because they wouldn’t understand? What if they judged me for it?
The reason I was afraid was that I thought no one knew how it felt. I later found out how wrong I was. We are never alone in how we feel. The 80% of people that stood helped me realize that. Many of us feel so alone, but don’t realize that out of the 8 billion people on this planet, there’s bound to at least be one other person who can understand us.
Recognizing that we are not alone in our challenges is important because mental health is a crucial component to our general well-being. Around the world, millions of people battle anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. It can be hard to talk about our difficulties with mental health, but it's important to understand that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
So all in all, just know that whatever you’re going through, and however you feel, you are not alone.
Sarah Begun is a BBG living in Cherry Hill, New Jersey who plays bass guitar, and lacrosse.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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