Hey there my beautiful friends! I have been working so hard to finally get to this post to let everyone know what I've been up to in the past year. Some of you may or may not have noticed that I have not publicly performed music in over a year. Although some reasons were due to private family matters, my main reason was because of my anxiety. I have struggled with severe anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and occasional depression my entire life, and last year was the worst of it. For those of you who also deal with mental illness, you will understand it is extremely difficult just to live your daily life. Due to that, I decided to take a break and discover myself, not only as a person but as an artist. I noticed how most producers and people in this industry want you to conform to what's popular in society at the moment, but I realized that's not who I am or who I want to be. So I took the time to play around with some different sounds and ideas and discover that my true style of music I want to release is pop/rock...think of classic rock with a bit of a pop twist.
Aside from my music, I can tell everyone that during my break, I got the help I needed and am doing much better now. Not only do I personally struggle with mental illness, but anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD run in my family. I feel like those who don't personally deal with these issues don't know how to help their friends or family who may be struggling. I wanted to also shed some light on that to those of you who may be on that side, where it's not specifically you who is struggling but someone you love and care about. I thank my dad all of the time for being so patient and caring towards myself and my mom when we go through difficult episodes. My biggest advice to those of you that don't know what you can do to help is to just be there for them. Ask them "What do you need?" or "What can I do to help you out?". Each person deals with it differently so the main thing is understanding what helps them get through it. To add to that, living with someone with mental illness... It can be almost as difficult for someone who is living with a loved one that struggles with mental illness as it can be for someone that actually deals with it. A lot of times you have to take time out of your everyday life to care for them, and some people struggle handling that in a proper way. It's not easy, I know my dad can personally account for that, but he has figured out ways he can handle it that won't make things more difficult. That's why my biggest advice is to just be there for them...don't get upset with them, just ask what they need or what you can do to help.
For those of you who DO personally deal with mental illness, it is completely okay. Coming from someone who struggles with it, the best thing you can do for yourself is just talk to someone. I used to feel shameful of my anxiety and think of it as embarrassing. Like when I would just be at home, at the store, the movies, in a car, or anywhere for that matter and I would suddenly have a panic attack. I would think to myself, "Why does this have to happen every time?" "Why can't I just be normal?"...but in reality, what does it truly mean to be "normal"? I feel like there's a major negative stigma towards the term "mental illness" as though it's a bad thing but the truth is, we all have issues. Some are big and some are small but no one is perfect and that is completely okay. Mental and physical disabilities do not define you as a person - you are so much more than a label. As I went through my journey of getting the help I need and finding myself, I learned that being exactly who I am is perfectly okay. No, some of my friends and family members may not understand but I do, and your opinion of yourself is the only one that truly matters. I still do struggle with panic attacks every now and then, but nowhere near as bad, and I am eternally grateful for that. I am going to continue my music, but I'm not going to rush myself. That was one of the larger aspects of my anxiety was thinking I had to have my whole life together right here and now but I have learned to be more "go with the flow" and know that things will fall into place exactly when the time is right.
Now that I've shared my experience of living with mental illness, I think it's time we all share our stories to let others know that they are not alone, and together we can raise mental health awareness in nothing but a positive way. It's time to erase the negative stigma towards mental disabilities.
Please, if you or someone you love is struggling, I would LOVE to hear your story. And if any of you think you need help but are too afraid to ask, please just talk to someone...I am SO glad I finally did. I will continue to shed light on mental health awareness and things you can do to help get involved. PS: May is mental health awareness month!
So this is my story, I will share more as I continue blogging. I have to thank my sister Ashley for teaching me the ways of blogging and being an "influencer" so I could share this with you. Now you all know where I've been in the past year and I am so utterly excited to share the rest of my story with you through my blog.
Thank you guys for your unconditional love and support, and I hope that all of you will join me on the rest of my journey through my music and blogging. Much Love. xx