Adventures in Anxiety, Dear Starfish Diaries, Guest Posts

Guest Blogger Emilie Castro: In Honor Of Mental Health Awareness Month

Welcome to the very first GUEST BLOGGER post on Starfish Diaries!  I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you to the talented, brilliant, hilarious Emilie Castro, who I have been so lucky to know for the vast majority of my life.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought it would be a good time to feature one of my greatest supporters.  Whether you struggle with mental health or not (don’t we all, if we’re honest, to some degree?), I hope you have someone in your life who lifts you up, loves you unconditionally, and makes you laugh even when you feel like all is lost.

And you know what?  If you don’t have that person right now, find them!  There are groups everywhere, and a great place to start is by reaching out to NAMHI to find resources near you.  The voices in your head will tell you that you are alone, you are the only one suffering, that you don’t deserve help or love- and they are LIARS.

You are not alone.  You are in GOOD COMPANY- we’re all going through something, and we’re all crazy!  You deserve to feel good, and happy, and supported.

I mean, they gave Mental Health Awareness its own month.  Clearly this is a thing.

Enjoy this introduction from Emilie.  I think you’ll love her, because I do.  With all my heart.

 

 

Greetings!  I’m Em.  Liz and I have been friends for about thirty years.

While she and I have our own unique story and experience, I think it’s useful to acknowledge how our relationship has always included a significant amount of reciprocal mental and emotional support.

For the past twenty years, we’ve spend A. LOT. of time talking about our brains.

Early on, the conversations were heavily focused on boys and wondering how they could be so oblivious to our charms. We were [and continue to be] awesome and the lack of interest was a cruel oversight by the eligible male population.

Bastards.

[Shout out to our excellent spouses who appreciate the weird.  Most of the time.]

Aside from boys, we also spent ample amounts of time discussing stress, our bodies, our worries, our futures, and speculating if we were normal.

Survey says we’re NOT normal, but I’m confident we’re stellar humans and that being normal is overrated.

These chats occurred while: at Starbucks drinking beverages that wreaked havoc on our insides; driving aimlessly in a crappy car(s); listening to wildly angst-y music; writing chatty notes during class or study hall; all while trying to figure out if we were okay.

Surprise!

There were tons of times we were NOT. OKAY.

Our mental health chats continue today, albeit with less/no coffee, better cars, less money from our parents, the same excellent music, and email/text.

We’ve also evolved through educating ourselves, working with medical professionals, developing successful coping mechanisms, some well-prescribed drugs, and other tools.

Note, while I’m grateful Liz and I share this aspect of our lives, it’s important to remember your friends and family don’t need to have a mental illness to support you.

Today, I’m happy to be part of Liz’s story and to see her sharing her struggles and successes with others. I’m proud of all she’s accomplished and can’t wait to see where she’s headed next.

As for me, I’ll probably pop back in here and there to share experiences and other random nonsense if allowed. I have so much nonsense to share.

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