Photo by Red Lips & Honey Photography
It is just the beginning.
TW: Depression, Anxiety, Suicide
Before I get started on explaining my brand and the reason why. I should first talk about how the brand came about. Let me get started by introducing myself. My name is Lesly. I am an iced coffee drinking, spoken poetry loving, coffee shop sitting, people watching ﹣type of woman. I started my love for writing blogs back in 2012 on the website Tumblr. It is now 2022 and I just had this feeling of starting to write again. So I am. Here it is. My first blog in 10 years.
What did I do during these past 10 years? Well... I fell in and out of love. I have grown in many ways ﹣ spiritually, emotionally, academically, personally, etc. I managed to get into nursing school before I graduated high school. I was able to attend a nice community college while being in and out of the hospital (that's a story for next time). In a world pandemic, I was able to graduate with my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. If anything, these past ten years have taught me two things: 1. Resilience. 2. Love Your Mental.
I'd like to think my childhood years in middle school were awesome, and that is because I had my best friend Sarah. We were two grades apart. I'm this wimpy sixth grader and she's the cool eighth grader. How we met, i'm unsure of... but the rest was history. Even though there was an age difference, she made me feel authentically myself. No hesitations, no limitations, no judgement. She took me for who I am. Lesly.
Growing up, we spent three consecutive years together. Luckily, she lived two streets down which made it more easier to see one another. We would spend our days with no plans, just a mindset to have an adventure. We would escape our real life struggles at home and just get lost in our city together. I think in total, we walked over 3 miles every other day. We would plan our futures and think about how life would be. It was easy. Life was easy.
In the eighth grade, things got difficult. Life was difficult. Even though things were easy with Sarah, we still had our own separate realities to face. Unfortunately, I was bullied a lot growing up. There wasn't much Sarah could do for me besides encourage me to push forward. My mental health was deteriorating. I had zero guidance on how to express my emotions, navigate my feelings, or the confidence to stand up for myself. I was anxious. I was severely depressed. I thought life wasn't worth living. So I attempted at taking my own life. I wanted it to all end. Thankfully, my life didn't.
It's now freshman year of high school, I had high hopes of changing my life around. New school. New people. Maybe new friends! I thought I could leave all my struggles behind and start over. I was still in the same city, but maybe I could make a name of myself. Freshman year was really busy, I hardly ever got to see Sarah. We both had different schedules. I was figuring out high school, involved in extra curriculums, focusing on my career path in healthcare and on the varsity dance team. I vividly remember catching Sarah at the corner of the hallway, by the bathrooms and stairs. We passed by one another but I recognized her in a heartbeat. I stopped her to say "Hi!" and catch up, even though the tardy bell just rang.
Being on the varsity dance team, meant you were invited to all of the games and parties. I never really enjoyed the parties. There was a lot of intoxication with poor dance moves. At least the music was nice. Since I was so busy trying to change my life, I decided to opt out of a lot of the parties. There was one party I wish I went to. I would do anything in the world to have attended this party. It was the party of the year - literally, it was the new year. This was the last party Sarah went to, the last party Sarah was seen alive.
As I was focusing on myself, I didn't realize my best friend was struggling. She didn't look like she was struggling. But, no one taught me the signs of suicidal behavior. That year, I lost my best friend. I finally thought I had a grip on life. That life was getting better and things were starting to look up and I could attempt at living life happy again. When I found out Sarah was no longer alive, my heart stopped. I think everyone knew it was harder on me when it came to her friend group. I didn't realize that the year I spent focusing on myself, I forgot to check in on her. She had to face her own reality at home, her own problems, her own mental health with zero guidance. That year, she was struggling and I didn't even know the half of it.
I've spent these past ten years trying to wrap my mind around mental health.
What does it mean?
What does it look like?
Why does it impact us so much?
Why does it hurt so much?
What is depression?
What is anxiety?
How do you survive suicide?
Does it ever get better?
I spent time learning healthy coping mechanisms while unlearning the unhealthy ones. I learned to let go of people that did not enhance my life. I trialed and errored. I spent time with counselors but never got professional help until this past year. If i'm being honest, I'm still learning about mental health. I'm still learning about my mental health. One thing I know throughout these past years, is that I've become resilient.
"Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands".
I learned how to face my worst nightmare and made it out "okay". I did this by telling myself throughout the past years, to love my mental health. Instead of fighting my own mental health, I have slowly taught myself how to love it. Everyday, I strived to learn something new about how to love my mental health. I wanted to share my love with the world. I didn't know how, so I created an enamel pin and called the project "Mind Ur Mental". This tiny enamel pin allowed me to raise $1,000 for mental health in my city. Fast forward, it is now 2022 and I rebranded by business name to Love Your Mental LLC.
With Love Your Mental, my intentions are to share the things i've learned throughout the years of mental health while creating products that advocate for those that silently struggle. I want the brand of Love Your Mental to provide all the guidance, resources and information to all the Sarah's out there in the world.
With so much love,