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.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.
"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.
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.