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By Sebastian Voortman

If I had to sum up my childhood into three words I’d choose dysfunction, abandon and survival. Pretty heavy stuff I know but I won’t sugar coat it. A lot of what I went through stemmed from mental health issues gone untreated. My mother suffered a lot and did her fair share of self medicating as a result. As I get older I notice similarities but not in ways I would or could change. I now have some understanding of her struggle, something I didn’t have when I was younger. That of which I am grateful for. I don’t intend on venturing into my past very often but if something does manage to find itself on the page then so be it. As far as the topic of Mental Health I will be sharing my journey. I came to the decision to address my own issues in December of 2017 when my eldest sister took her own life, she was only 33. It was the worst kind of wake up call and truth be told it was hard at first. I felt embarrassed ashamed that I couldn’t handle or control my emotions and doubted myself, I doubted that I could break the cycle. Nowadays, I am feeling more and more human and it gets easier each day. I believe mental health is something that should be discussed and addressed more often. The more we talk about it the more understanding and awareness we can build. Everyday I learn something new about myself, my triggers and remedies that help me cope. I’m not limited. I’m not a burden or someone who is too sensitive to deal. I am someone who suffers from depression and anxiety. I have worked hard to be where I am in this moment, and I work everyday to be the best mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend that I can be. Some days I fail and that’s okay because I have tomorrow to try again.

With much Love & Gratitude,