Lindsey Stirling recently posted an extremely personal article on how she overcame depression, anorexia, and stigmas against these challenges to find a life filled with happiness and success.
Why are we so afraid to talk about mental health? Words like depression, anorexia, anxiety, and PTSD to name a few are linked with negative social stigmas and judgment. However whether it is genetic or situational, I feel that most people at some point in their life will struggle with mental health. I think one of the most important and consistent battles we will fight in our life is the fight for happiness. Happiness takes work but I believe it is achievable for everyone.
The people who follow me on my social media often post comments such as, “Lindsey makes me happy” or “It’s so great that Lindsey isn’t afraid to be herself.” My followers revere me as an icon of happiness; however, just a few years ago, I was a very different person than I am today. In my college years, for no particular reason, I slowly sunk into depression and anorexia. The change took over my life so slowly that I never detected its intrusion into my personality. When I saw people who exuded genuine happiness, I looked at them longingly, wishing I could be like them. All the while, I assumed that some people were just lucky; I thought that some people were happy and some people just were not.
In my mind, I knew I was ugly, I knew I was worthless, I had no purpose and I frequently hid in my room, crying for no reason while my roommates laughed in the living room. It was ludicrous to think that what I was feeling was normal. I share this with you not to call for your pity, but for two reasons: first, some people may strongly relate to these feelings but not realize that what they are feeling is not normal and more importantly, that they can change. Secondly, I never could have become a successful, world-traveling violinist if I had remained in this self-destructive state. I am delighted to report now that I am full of happiness. I better understand my mental health battles so I can combat them when I see them sneaking back into my life. What I am saying is that if I could go from having no motivation and hating myself, to being driven and full of positivity, so can you and so can your friend, daughter, or son.