So a while back I wrote up a real quick, right after reading rave about this book called Crazy is my superpower. (https://missraee.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/crazy-is-my-superpower-must-read/ ). This book was written by former WWE Diva, AJ Lee ( Mendez). & this book changed my life.
Today while I was cooking, I listened to Celeste Bonin’s podcast, the Unglamorous life, and AJ Lee was a guest, this had been out for a while, I was just super lazy in getting around to listening to it. But today I did, and it went on to make me feel better, just like AJs book has done. AJ says it in the podcast, but it’s a fantastic thing when you’re dealing with your mental health to know that you aren’t alone. While more and more people are talking about it, there is still this huge stigma around mental health and it can be terrifying to admit to yourself, and certainly to anyone else that you are stuggling with this.
Crazy is my superpower is such an empowering story of trying to understand yourself, your mind, trying to grow up and keep living and finally being able to embrace your “crazy.” In this book AJ talks a lot about her bipolar disorder, now I don’t have a bipolar disorder, but I do have anxiety and much like how AJ had a hard time wrapping her head about her bipolar disorder, I found it very hard to understand my anxiety. I started reading this book about year ago, and a year before that my life changed drastically, coincidently that was around the same time where I truly felt my mental health changing negatively ( although I’m pretty sure I’ve been struggling with this for most of my life). When I picked up AJs book, I was struggling with my mental health constantly, I had constant anxiety attacks, I had panic attacks, I was depressed, and I was dealing with it all on my own. My family didn’t understand, nor did they try too, and I accepted that this was something I was going to need to figure out on my own. While I have gone through some serious shit in my life facing this might be one of the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I won’t get into my story because I’ll admit I’m not ready to tell it just yet, but I will tell you how important it was for me to figure myself out. This was a process that wasn’t easy; it involved cutting people out of my life including family because figuring myself out made me analyze my relationships and I quickly realized how toxic many of them were. At the time I didn’t know how I was supposed just to cut away the toxic, but now I look back and I am so proud of myself for doing it, and I am so much better for it.
I had to learn my triggers, I had to know okay this person, and this situation is not good for me, and while it isn’t always possible to avoid it all together, I needed to know how to deal with it in the healthiest way possible. I learned breathing techniques, those fidget spinners that were the hot new toy for about three weeks? Well, those helped me, a lot. I’d have it with me when I had to face a tough situation, and while it wasn’t a full proof fix, it helped a lot, it helped to focus myself on something other than the bad situation. It wasn’t easy to make myself go, but being in the gym, on the treadmill pounding it out would also help. In the podcast between AJ and Celeste, they talked about figuring your shit out, and I think it’s the best thing to do. Once you’re able to figure it out, you can sit down and say okay, “I have this mental illness, but I am not only this mental illness.” you know? It is a part of you, but it doesn’t control you.
I won’t sit here and tell you that once you accept it, it suddenly becomes easy because that’s not true. I’m certainly not a health professional, and I don’t know if dealing with any kind of mental illness ever becomes easy. But I do know it does become easier. There’s a quote from someone that goes something like “it doesn’t get easier you just get stronger,” and I think that’s the case. Since opening up about her life, AJ Mendez has gone on to be an advocate for the jed foundation and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and maybe even more that I don’t know about. I recommend this book to anyone who just feels lost, anyone who could benefit from hearing someone else’s story as proof that they are not alone and that they can come out the other side, or anyone who is looking to understand mental illness a little better.
Remember, no matter what you might think in those moments, you are not alone. You will get through the hard times, and please always remember you are not just your mental illness, you are so much more.
P.S. always remember how important it is to take care of yourself. Do things you love, keep who you love close, and never apologize for spending time doing what is best for you.
Here are a couple links to a few sites that I visit or follow on social media.
AJ Mendez personal website: http://theajmendez.com/mental_health
Listen to AJ and Celeste on Celestes podcast the UNGlamorous life on Itune or here: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/luis-diaz-2/the-unglamorous-life-podcast/e/54006457
Unrelated to AJ Mendes but just an awesome campagin for mental health: https://idontmind.com/
Look up Jared Padalecki, and the SPN Family campagin of Always Keep Fighting.