I’m so thankful you have found this blog and taken the time to explore it! My name is Michelle Louise and I’m writing this blog with you in mind!
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in every 5 adults in the U.S. suffers from some kind of mental illness each year. That’s about 43.8 million people, and yet so few of us are willing to talk about it. In part, that’s due to the fear of stigma. Our society hasn’t done a great job of creating a safe place for people to open up. I want to help change that, so I have created this blog as a place to share my story and also perhaps hear from some of y’all. I invite you to leave comments about your journey (if desired, this can be done anonymously) and together we can learn and grow toward a more hopeful future!
My Mental Health Journey
Ever since I can remember, I’ve suffered from depression, anxiety, OCD, and even some levels of PTSD. I had somewhat of a chaotic childhood and of course I tried to compensate by being the perfect child. Well… that’s just not realistic! That response led to some negative coping methods, including self harm and a very unhealthy lifestyle.
When I stepped into a management position at work a few years ago, I realized how much my negative thinking patterns had begun to affect my ability to thrive in a professional career… or life in general. I have this great aversion to dealing with conflict and that’s not helpful as a manager. I also recognized that I was terrible at setting healthy boundaries or coping with stress. This set me on a downward emotional spiral.
In early 2015, I got connected with the Grace Alliance in Waco, TX, and it has been such a blessing! I’ve been going through the Thrive curriculum with them as well as seeing a local counselor. It has made all the difference! I am realizing how drastically small steps toward holistic health can improve overall quality of life.
Jesus At The Center
I know that, when it comes to mental health and Jesus, there can be some mixed opinions and a variety of past experiences. However I still believe that Jesus should play a vital role in the mental health recovery process and so I will mention God in many of my posts. If you do not believe in God, I hope you will still find some nuggets of information in this blog that will be helpful for you. I just know that Jesus has been a huge source of strength and hope in my journey, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Him in this endeavor.
I Am Not a Licensed Professional Counselor
Professional training/certification in the mental health industry is one thing that I do not have. If you or someone you know needs that level of help, please seek it out with someone who is trained and licensed in that field. It’s ok to seek help and you shouldn’t feel ashamed about it. I myself see a counselor on a regular basis. No one questions us when we go to the doctor and get an annual physical. The brain is a physical part of the body, so why should they question us for getting a check-up here and there?
Anyway, my goal for this blog is that you will realize you are not alone. Along the way, I’ll share what insight, encouragement, tools, and hope I have found. And again, please share your journey as well! I’d love to hear from you! I truly hope that this blog will become a place where we can start that dialogue about mental illness and no longer feel any shame.
To learn more about our name Hope Mire, visit my first post here: The Whisper of Hope.