You Are More Than Enough
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “more than enough.” It is important that you know, today and always, that you are more than your diagnosis, your symptoms, your life circumstances, or your struggles. You are a whole, complex, and valuable human being, with strengths and experiences that make you who you are. You have unique talents, perspectives, and qualities that make a difference in the world. You have the power to make meaningful connections, learn and grow, and create a life that’s fulfilling and joyful. The world would not be the same without you in it. You add, with both your strengths and “weaknesses” a detail in the world that is needed to make up the complexity of the human experience as a whole.
Even if you’ve faced challenges, setbacks, or diagnoses that may have made you feel different, broken, or unworthy, remember this; you’re still more than enough. Your diagnosis doesn’t define you. Your appearance doesn’t determine your worth and value. Your socioeconomic status, background, or physical or mental ability doesn’t take away from what you contribute to the world and the lives of those you love. (even if you think it does). Physical and mental abilities do not equal worth or accomplishment. You bring value to this world, and your relationship with others, through the love you put out into the world: not the productivity. You are a multifaceted and beautiful individual, with strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, joys and sorrows. All of that makes you who you are; a person who deserves respect, love, and acceptance.
Knowing this, does it change how you feel about engaging in self-care and reaching out for therapy? Though therapy, and the act of attending therapy, has become more mainstream, well known, and more common, there can still, at times, be a stigma attached to experiencing mental health symptoms and attending therapy. Here is some information on therapy to hopefully help you, or someone you love, understand what it is and how it can help.
Is Therapy Necessary, And Who Is It For?
It’s easy to get caught up in negative self-talk, to believe that you’re not good enough, that you’re broken or damaged, or that you’ll never be able to overcome your challenges, especially when you’re dealing with mental health challenges that can be overwhelming and exhausting. While it may be difficult to see that you’re worth it when you’re in the midst of a mental health challenge, know that there is hope. It is during these dark times our thoughts can convince us things cannot get better and we are not worthy of a better life. This is simply not true, and therapy is a great place to start to see the possibilities, and begin your journey of healing and growth, even if you don’t know where to start.
Therapy can be beneficial for everyone, regardless of the symptoms of life experiences they are enduring. We all have struggles, stressors, and experiences that can impact our emotional and mental well-being, and therapy provides a safe and supportive space to process those experiences, learn new skills, and gain insights into ourselves and our relationships. Whether you’re experiencing a specific challenge, such as a breakup, a career change or loss, loss of a loved one or changed health status, symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, or current or past trauma, or, you just want to work on personal growth and self-awareness, therapy can be an incredibly valuable resource.
Other benefits of therapy include:
- Improved emotional well-being: Therapy can help you learn how to manage your emotions and cope with difficult situations in a healthy way. It can also help you identify and change negative thought patterns that may be contributing to your emotional distress.
- Increased self-awareness: Through therapy, you can gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This increased self-awareness can help you make more conscious and intentional choices in your life.
- Better relationships: Therapy can help you improve your communication skills and develop more meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others. It can also help you work through conflicts and address issues that may be causing tension in your relationships.
- Greater resilience: Through therapy, you are able to build resilience and develop coping skills that can help you better navigate the ups and downs of life. This can help you feel more confident and better equipped to handle challenges as they arise.
- Improved physical health: Studies have shown that therapy can have positive effects on physical health such as reducing symptoms of chronic pain and improving sleep.
If you are experiencing feelings of shame surrounding asking for help, remember: We all need support and guidance from time to time and therapy can be a powerful way to receive it.
“Just because I am struggling doesn’t mean I am failing.” – Unknown
There’s No Shame In Asking For Help
It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, especially when it comes to mental health. Try to remember: there is no shame in seeking support or going to therapy. In fact, it’s a sign of strength and resilience. It shows that you’re willing to prioritize your well-being, acknowledge your struggles, and open yourself up to the possibility of change. While it can be scary to open up to someone else about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, therapy provides a safe and confidential space to do so.
Therapy is a space where you can be yourself, without judgment or shame, and work collaboratively with a trained professional to develop new skills, insights, and strategies for managing your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or just need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Remember, seeking support is a brave and empowering act, and it can lead to greater healing, growth, and happiness in your life.
Going to therapy or asking for help doesn’t take away your value as a person. You are still worthy, lovable, and valuable regardless of your struggles or challenges. You are still more than enough. If you’re feeling hesitant or embarrassed about going to therapy or asking for help, remember that it doesn’t diminish your worth or who you are as a person.
“You are not a burden. You are a human being with struggles who deserves support and love.” – Unknown
Creating Safe Spaces For Improving Your Mental Health
It’s not always easy to talk about mental health, especially in a world that can be stigmatizing and dismissive of these challenges. It’s important to normalize these conversations, so we can not only normalize receiving help for ourselves, but encouraging others to do so as well. You never know who you might be inspiring by displaying taking care of yourself and making healthy choices. It’s normal to feel isolated or overwhelmed by the challenges of mental health symptoms, but by taking the time to create spaces where you and others can share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgment or shame and support one another, you can build a sense of community and connection that can be incredibly nourishing and healing. This might mean finding not only engaging with an individual therapist, but also a support group that resonates with you, reaching out to trusted friends or family members, or even creating your own safe space through journaling, blogging, joining a volunteer group, joining a book club, creating art, or other creative outlets.
“Safe spaces allow us to connect with ourselves, and each other, in ways that protect our souls and give us strength.” – Unknown
You Are More Than Enough: Even With, and Especially With, Mental Health Symptoms
You are also not alone in this fight. A recent estimate shows that over 57.8 million adults in the United States, which equates to more than 1 in 5 people, live with a mental illness.
We are here to remind you help is available to you. Having a mental illness can be a challenging and often isolating experience, and it’s important to remember that you are not alone, there are treatment options for you, and ways to feel better, and you deserve to receive the support and care you need to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
“You are not your illness, and your illness is not you. You are a complex, wonderful, brilliant, and flawed human being, deserving of love and respect.” – Jennifer Marshall