I decided to start a mental health blog and share my truth because I realized that my story and my voice has the ability to help others and create a safe space to empower, inspire, and connect.
During my senior year of college I was clinically diagnosed with dysthymia, a persistent depressive disorder that is a long-term/chronic form of depression. I had shown symptomatic signs many years prior but didn’t have the proper tools to manage it. Mainly due to the negative stigma surrounding mental health disorders in the African-American and Hispanic communities. It wasn’t always easy expressing myself without being put down or judged for it. So, I just didn’t.
Once I learned about my diagnosis, I tried to explore different ways to feel somewhat normal again. I scoured the internet for articles, books, and basically anything related to depression. Desperately I wanted to find something that will help me feel okay in the long run or something I can relate to. I wanted tips from others who experienced similar things and still managed to function “normal’.
I wanted to know I wasn’t alone.
Support from family and friends are invaluable but it was difficult in the past. They couldn’t fully understand what I was experiencing and didn’t know how to offer support. The feeling of being misunderstood or despaired was very frustrating. Especially since I was always there for people and it never felt good when it wasn’t reciprocated. To be real, I lost some friendships and even fought with my family during these difficult times.
But it was a learning experience (for everyone) and essential to becoming the person I am today. I grew through it.
I found myself at a low point around 2018 and hit rock bottom shortly after. Since I was relying on externals to make me happy, I thought I would never achieve actual happiness again. It seemed impossible. But I was wrong! Let me tell you something—God specifically brought me that low for a reason.
I needed to be reminded that I am more than my depression and seriously be reminded who I truly am.
And honey, I’m amazing.
God helped me find the strength to say “I need help.” So, I started therapy again and made vital changes in my life. Now in 2020, I feel more confident with managing my mental health, my faith has strengthened, and I feel very comfortable with sharing my feelings and story.
Being low helped me build again, from the ground up, with a fresh perspective. I learned how to separate my symptoms from my true self. I learned how to see the beauty in the struggle. I learned how to start the process of self-love. I learned how to take the first steps to becoming me, Tiffany Elise.
With my faith, coping mechanisms, support system, and hard work—I’m in a much better place than before. And if I can get here, so can anyone else.
I’m here sharing this with you because I believe God has chosen me for this purpose. To go through pain and turn that into strength, compassion, and love. Use my voice and share my knowledge to inspire.
I’ve always been great at being there for people I know but this blog gives me the chance to be there for those I don’t. I hope to connect with so many of you, inspire you, and also learn from you. My inbox is always open for questions, advice or just to vent. Don’t hesitate to reach out to talk to me.