"Anonymous" story

"After years of constantly suppressing emotions, it really took a toll on me once I started college where I felt more alone than ever as I was so far from everyone I knew. Growing up with parents who downplayed mental health and stigmatized therapy, it was hard to open up with them and everyone else about my childhood trauma and mental state. Through prayer, self reflecting, and going to counseling for the first time in my life freshman year, I was able to open up and realize that I don’t have to pretend to be okay when I’m not. This enabled me to slowly open up to others and be vulnerable about my current state and past trauma. I was able to strengthen my bond with my closest friends and have support system. I finally felt free and truly myself. In the past, I had viewed sharing negative emotions and personal problems as a sign of weakness. But thanks to the kindness of others, I’ve learned that vulnerability is not a weakness and sharing doesn’t burden others. On the contrary, it takes great strength to admit when you’re not okay."

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