I was hesitant about sharing something personal on social media, especially because I’m not super comfortable with opening up to people or sharing about myself. But I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone because mental health is so so so important. If I had to describe myself: quiet, shy, reserved, introverted, especially around strangers and in a class full of other students. However, my mind is always buzzing with thoughts and unspoken words. Sometimes, I’m laying in bed wishing I can shut my thoughts off with just one single flick of a switch. Because sometimes, my thoughts are too much for me to handle. It’s just all too much. Too overwhelming. I feel like I’m walking on thin ice. Always rehearsing what I’m going to say inside my head over and over again. Always having to reassure myself that people aren’t judging me. It’s exhausting. I just want to be myself. And I asked myself, “What does it mean to be myself?” This is when I began to focus on my mental health.

Here is a post that I shared a couple weeks ago: Does anyone else feel sad for no reason? Like sadness just pops out and hits you out of nowhere. Hard. And then you start thinking and get even more sad? You just want to turn off all those thoughts swirling inside your head. So you shut your eyes hoping that sleep will fix everything? But sometimes you can’t fall asleep even though you’re dying to do so. You try counting backwards from 1000. You try recalling some pointless formulas or processes you learned. nothing’s working. then what do you do?

I think one of the scariest things in the world is the human mind. We all have it. But each mind is different. No one can ever step inside mine. It’s just me, alone. me and my thoughts. sometimes when I try picturing my mind it’s a room. It’s vast, endless and it’s pitch dark. Lost. Scared. Alone. But other days, I can picture my mind as an endless field of flowers underneath the blue sky scattered with white, fluffy clouds. Like the flower field from Howl’s moving castle. This time, I feel Safe. Warm.

Each day is different. It sucks that it can’t be rainbow and sunshine every single day. It sucks that my mind can’t be full of sunflowers 24/7. But the peace that follows after bawling your eyes out or after feeling like it’s the end of the world makes life bearable. I always remind myself: it’s always too much to take in everything all at once. So instead of focusing on all seven days, focus on 24 hours. If 24 hours is too much, then focus on one. If one hour is too much, take it a minute at a time. If one minute seems too much, just focus on breathing and give your mind and body some break. We don’t have to figure out everything all at once at this moment. Things are kind of all over the place right now. Different. Give yourself the love you deserve. Always. From me to myself. From me to you.

I want to remind myself, and everyone else, to focus on yourself. Be mindful of what our mind and body are telling us. Our feelings are valid. Our thoughts are valid. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and take a deep breath. Healing takes time. It takes patience. Show yourself compassion and kindness. To me, my mental health journey is about connecting with my feelings and thoughts, learning to be comfortable with myself, and reminding myself that I (we) also deserve love and kindness, always.

Asian Mental Health Collective