I was diagnosed with depression sometime between 2011 or 2012. The thing with depression is that I don’t think it really goes away. I’ll be honest—I still have my days when I wake up and I feel like crap, days when I feel like I don’t want to get up or engage with other people because I don’t feel good enough. It's an ongoing fight but I feel like I'm gaining ground.
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It was during my adolescence, a time where I was supposed to discover and explore who I was and develop friendships with other people. Instead, I just wanted to be alone and dwell in my own thoughts. I knew that there was something wrong because I kept shutting everyone out. I was in denial for a very, very long time. I didn’t seek help for what I was going through and I feel that my denial of the problem somehow stunted my growth as a human being. I wish I had fun experiences growing up but everyone grows through what they go through.
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Finally, my mother stepped in, she brought me to see a specialist. That’s when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Looking back, I shouldn’t have kept it in secret and I shouldn’t have shut everyone out. Coming to the realization that not everyone wants to hurt you was a game changer for me. The journey towards mental wellness starts from within and radiates outwards. Just like the Mestiza brand promise, I realized that in order to feel good about myself, I need to I started being more mindful about what I associate with by gravitating towards things that nourish my body and soul. I cultivated more meaningful relationships with people I resonate with on a personal level. I practiced self-care by cleaning up my diet more, intentionally becoming more active, and patronizing products such as Mestiza that provide nourishment to my skin with because it contains good-to-the-body ingredients. My spiritual health has also helped me a lot. Since I’ve converted into being a Christian, I've realized that I need to love myself a lot more because God loves me; He’s made me in His own image and likeness. Sometimes we forget those things, especially when we’re in the two extremes of emotion—drowning in sorrow or being really, really happy. That’s when we have to ask for forgiveness and get back to Jesus.
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For the longest time, I’ve been trying to shy away like from speaking about my condition. As I grew older, I realized that, as a Christian, I owe it to the community to share what I’ve been through in the hopes of inspiring someone who is in the same position as me. With mental health, it’s really an alarming issue and we really have to be there for one another. We are all dealing with the same demons. It’s just that the demons are on different levels so that’s why we have to be kind to one another because we don’t know what other people are going through.
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Photographs taken from my Instagram account