I have to tell you something. Keep going.

Keep going

These two words gave my life meaning years ago.

Can I be honest with you? Today, I am not suffering.

Actually I am doing well, despite what is happening in our world.

It wasn’t always this way. For almost a decade I struggled with my mental health.

During that time I was tortured with the worst pain.

The type of suffering that no one could see and I could not understand.

Here’s what I want to tell you.

 Keep going.

Years ago a woman I loved broke up with me while I was away on holiday. I spiraled into deep despair.

 I sat in my gallery struggling to paint. A maintenance man, I hardly knew looked in on me and said.

“I know what happened to you, Keep going.”

These two words became my hope when I almost fell apart.

When it comes to mental health we are not all the same.

We are all struggling in strange waters but we are not in the same boat. Some people have found the right formula, others are still searching and others are just staying afloat.

No one can feel what you feel. No one can show you your road to recovery. It’s up to you to create the path. Keep going

Others have walked this road you can do it too. Choose to look for mentors. Do the best you can and feel good about it.

Sometimes you will feel like crap and you will want to quit, and all you will have is terrible feelings.

They all pass just keep going.

Don’t get wrapped up in what other people tell you about who you are and what you should be doing. Listen and practice discretion.

When days are tough remember to honor yourself and the struggle

When we take the time to honor where we are we gain wisdom to understand the deeper meaning behind the struggles.

When you are in the pit it’s hard to see the value of the darkness. You might think you are the only one there. Nothing will make sense and hope seems impossible. Keep going.

If you find the darkness closing in please reach out. It doesn’t matter where, just do it.

Waking up in bed might be all you got for the day. Celebrate it.

Take the small wins whatever they might be and celebrate them.

Each moment leads to the next moment and when we celebrate them we bring hope for the future to change.

Today more than ever we all need to keep going.

Every day that you and I are here we win.
We win not only for ourselves, but for every individual that is struggling along the path to mental health.
We win by being the hope. We win by showing up if only to hear a word from a stranger.
Keep going.

We need to tear down the wall that keeps us all from reaching out when we need to.

You can do this by being open to have more dialogue around mental health.
We need to acknowledge that real success can only happen when we embrace all of who we are: by honoring those who struggle with mental health we can see, the beautiful, and the survivor in all of us.

The more we unite and share our perfect imperfections the more we create a safe space for others to reveal their mental health struggles.

Did you know..the suicide rate in the United States & Canada has seen sharp increases in recent years.
It’s now the 10th leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people talk to a friend or call the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

The time is now to tear down the wall between us and release the shame about mental illness.

This is the shame that I believe contributed to so many beautiful individuals who left the planet far too early.

What if Robin Williams could share his mental health struggles as he shared his humor and wit with us all?

What if Anthony Bordaine had travelled the world exposing the stigma of mental health as he also tantalized our taste buds?

What if Kate Spade could speak out about her depression without shame and encourage women who suffer from mental illness to share their stories.

Would they still be with us now?

Please, please when you come up against mental health stigma remember

1 People do recover from mental illness

2 You are already a success just by being here

Stigma is a wall that is used to keep us from embracing our total humanity. Shame is the bricks that keep the wall standing.

Let’s work together to remove those bricks to create a new vision for the future of mental health.

I challenge you to step up and remove one brick from the wall of stigma by reaching out to someone you know who suffers with mental health challenges.

Together we can shape the future for mental health

We all have to do our part to restore, hope, dignity, peace and health to those who are challenged with mental illness.

We are not broken.

We are multidimensional.

We are beautiful beyond our minds.

We are survivors.

Thank you and please, please keep going.

We need you.

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