What form of Mental Illness do you suffer from?

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For the last six months I’ve been asking every guest on the podcast this question, “What form of MENTAL ILLNESS do you suffer from?”. Moving forward, it’s how I’ve chosen to start every episode. I love it. It challenges people at times and leads to some very uncomfortable conversations. It also leads to some very inspirational and incredible conversations. I believe every single person alive today….everyone…. struggles in maintaining and balancing their MENTAL HEALTH. I believe this is the reality of being a human and being alive in the world today.

I’ve spent the better part of my life feeling like there was something wrong with me and if people found out about it, if they saw it, they wouldn’t love me. I’ve had ANXIETY over this exact thing for as long as I can remember and I have tried to keep it hidden for just as long. I got so good at hiding I even lost touch with who I was at times. I believe everyone feels this way in one way or another. I believe it’s a human FEELING. I’ve also had long periods of my life when I was DEPRESSED and felt completely disconnected from everyone and everything. I’ve had times in my life when I thought I was BIPOLAR. Times when I thought I was going CRAZY. I’ve had times when I’ve thought things would be easier if I was just dead and have even spent time resisting thoughts of SUICIDE. I’ve experienced some very traumatic things throughout my life and that TRAUMA comes back from time to time, hence the PTSD I deal with on a regular basis.

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I’ve also spent the better part of my life feeling JOY and HAPPINESS. I have an incredible life with beautiful children and a loving Wife. I feel LOVE and excitement each time I see them. I have wonderful friends who make me LAUGH and simple pleasures in my daily life that make me smile. I spend most days feeling GRATEFUL to be alive and grateful for each moment I’m breathing.

Throughout my life, at some point, I’ve resisted all of these thoughts and feelings. Even the joyful happy ones. I’ve gone the rounds with my emotions and most times they kick my ass. But each time, I get back up. I want to FEEL all of them. I need to feel all of them. The place I strive to be in is the place of balance between all of them. When EMOTIONS or feelings come knocking, I let them in. Regardless of whether or not it makes me laugh or cry, happy or sad. The experience of life is the balance between all things, including our mental health and well being. I practice this balance daily and continually get better and better at finding it.

I challenge you to practice this balance as well. Welcome every emotion, every feeling, and keep practicing. It pays off….I promise.