Why I Started A Blog and What Took Me So Long

I’d like to think of myself as a transparent person. I’m open to sharing details about my everyday life, struggles, and pretty much anything else I can think of, and because of this, many people have told me that I should start a blog.

Celebrating my 24th birthday in Seattle. The best birthday EVER!

Me? Start a blog? Nah. That’s way too much commitment! It’s one thing to make a few Facebook posts or go on a long Twitter rant here and there. But to actually write my thoughts, feelings, and opinions in articles for public view is another!

That’s what took me so long.

Fear.

“What were you afraid of?” Honestly, putting myself out there in the public eye talking about my struggles, triumphs, epiphanies, etc. What would people think? How would they receive it? What about my friends, family, coworkers who don’t know these things about me? So many fears and reservations plagued my mind that I just kept putting it off. I put off starting until I realized how many people would ask me the same questions, or for the same pieces of advice and I was just regurgitating what I had told to three other people previously. I realized how many people need help, need an ear, or just need to know they aren’t alone in their everyday struggles.

Finally..

The final kick in the butt to start this blog was the overwhelming number of suicides by young people, especially young African American women. Some I knew, some I didn’t. Each one I grieved as if they were a best friend because I’ve been there. Been at the point where life seemed so bad that I felt like the only relief was to end it all. For a long time I felt this way and I remember one night, had to be 2 or 3 o’ clock in the morning I called my father crying and feeling like I was losing it and all I could do was ask for him to pray for me because I really didn’t know what else to do.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, PLEASE reach out to someone. If you’d rather talk to someone anonymously the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Or click here to chat with someone online.

It’s Easy to Fake

“But Ashleigh, you’re so happy and positive all the time! No way you can be depressed.” It’s very easy to fake the funk and continue on like everything is okay until one day it just becomes too much. Deciding to keep quiet, struggle in silence, and not be open about what I’ve struggled with as far back as I could remember was diminishing my quality of life and I did not want this to be forever. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to open up to friends about what I was going through, and eventually starting therapy. *yes, therapy is OKAY!*

Mental health is such a taboo topic, especially in the black community, and not a lot of people are open and transparent about what they are going through for fear of being judged, ridiculed, looked at differently, and the list goes on. So I figured if me sharing my day-to-day struggles and encouraging others to take care of their mental health could save a life or two, I had no choice but to suck it up, say eff fear, and start this thing!

Have a mental health topic you’d like to see covered? Shoot me a message and let me know! And remember to always #ProtectYourMentalHealth

Need help starting your own blog? Start here.

29 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kristin

    August 2, 2016

    love it! its def a taboo topic and im glad that ppl like you are stepping up to bring awareness to our community! im so happy to be apart of the mental health field…looking forward to more posts! congrats!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 2, 2016

      Thank you so much!!!

  2. Reply

    Nedra

    August 2, 2016

    Congratulations! At least I have someone else to refer a young person to if the need arises. God bless you!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 2, 2016

      Thank you!!! Yes feel free to do so, they can contact me via the contact form! 🙂

  3. Reply

    Steph

    August 2, 2016

    Good for you! So glad you decided to do this, there can never be enough blogs out here. You offer a perspective that someone else does not and you will reach people that another blog/ger may not. Kudos to you, sis! I’m def a new subscriber.

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 2, 2016

      Thank you love! :*

  4. Reply

    Tishka

    August 2, 2016

    So proud of you. It takes alot of courage to open yourself up for others to see. Keep moving forward!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 2, 2016

      Thank you!!!

  5. Reply

    Megan

    August 2, 2016

    I’m so excited for you! It takes a lot to be vulnerable and expose yourself innermost thoughts to others. This was the kick in the butt for me to keep blogging. I needed this. Keep being a light!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 3, 2016

      Thank you love! And yes, continue to blog, the world needs your voice! 😀

  6. Reply

    Lotanna

    August 2, 2016

    I’m so freaking proud of you!! Glad to see that you are sharing the Ashleigh I have come to love! I pray all the best for you!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 3, 2016

      Awww thank you love!!! I appreciate it!

  7. Reply

    Bria

    August 3, 2016

    Yes, Yes, & YES!!! This is so good, and I’m so amazingly proud of you Hun!! I’ve been praying through this and my own mental and emotional health these last few weeks after starting an awesome book written by a therapist. I’ve definitely realized that our culture is always taught to be “strong”. However, I realized that we were not called to be strong physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, but in every one of those places we are called to be healthy. In our weakness, He is made strong…sorry for the rant lol, I’m just soooo happy for you!!! This was so good!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 3, 2016

      Thank you again Hun!!!! I truly do appreciate it, and yes ditto to that all! Good luck on your journey and know that I’m here to help in anyway I can!

  8. Reply

    A-Squared

    August 3, 2016

    I wasn’t sure if I should leave a comment or text you how proud I am….so I’ll do both lol. This blog has already changed my day and I can’t wait to see it change the world. You are going to help so many people see things differently! You are actually going to change people’s mindsets! This is a huge deal! You are a huge deal! So excited to see what’s next!

    • Reply

      ashvaughn

      August 3, 2016

      Awww thank you my Other Half!!!

  9. Reply

    Pooja

    August 4, 2016

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, a good topic on mental health i always ponder upon is how to keep yourself and your thoughts positive when you are constantly surrounded by negativity or self shame.

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 5, 2016

      Thank you Pooja! 🙂

  10. Reply

    Choc Chic

    August 5, 2016

    I am so proud of you my WOE sister!!! You are doing great things!!! I cannot wait to see what else you share with us and I’m excited to follow your journey.

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 5, 2016

      Thank you my Choc Choc!!!

  11. Reply

    CairasCuriosity

    August 5, 2016

    This was awesome. First off the theme of this layout is so bright and happy which fits perfectly with your “Happy Journeigh.” But your reasons for starting this is beautiful. SO many people have personal struggles with depression and its good to for other’s to listen to voices of others who have struggled with it. That’s not something to easily to talk about with others. But anyway congratulations! You’re on a roll!

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 5, 2016

      Thank you so much love!

  12. Reply

    Veronica

    August 5, 2016

    I am so very proud of you young lady!!! I have no words to express how W O W E D I am by you.

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 5, 2016

      Thank youuuu!!! I really do appreciate it! 😀

  13. Reply

    Angelique Peaceofmind Patton

    August 5, 2016

    Ashleigh my Offer of “Love and Understanding.” I too have had many struggles! Depression being the derivative of the majority. Healing and deliverance is to be exposed. It allows others to understand ( If we can make it, they can also!”) God is Good! I LOVE THE IDEA & YOU! KEEP GRINDING BABY GIRL💯💋👀WE OUTCHEA…Peace and Blessings.
    Ms.Angelique P. Patton

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 5, 2016

      Thank you sooo much!!!!

  14. Reply

    India

    August 10, 2016

    Hey! My friend Briana Johnson showed me your blog and it’s super nice. I’m glad you took the leap and made the decision to do your blog. I’m actually having the same internal conflict on whether or not to start one. Which site did you use to make yours??

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      August 11, 2016

      Hi India! I’m using WordPress.org! Good luck starting your blog!

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