Growing up, I was always the artist in my family. So naturally, I had a different perspective on life that my siblings, parents and relatives had trouble understanding. I would constantly be called "crazy" for my goals, dreams, and out-of-the-box thinking. Eventually this started getting to me. Throughout my college years I felt lonely and unrelatable. I kept asking myself questions like
"am I really crazy for having these goals?", "what's my purpose?", "would I even be able to find someone who loves me for me?"... This brought me to a low point in my life which affected my relationships for the longest time.
Thankfully, God brought my former Ballet instructor back into my life. Little did I know that her actual profession was Psychology. (I swear guys, God's work is perfect)
She was the Psychologist I needed during these dark moments in my life. She had known me for more than a decade, seen me grow up, and express myself through the art of ballet for many years. I mean, what better person to do the job!
My former Ballet instructor now Psychologist, also practiced mindfulness and dance therapy which essentially was what helped me work through my insecurities, channel my anger, forgive my parents, forgive everyone who made me feel bad about myself, and most importantly forgive myself. After months of intense, heartfelt therapy sessions, I made a break through. She helped me reconnect with my inner child, love my new self deeply, and get back on my feet stronger than ever.
This woman changed my life and I am grateful to her everyday for even the little things like teaching me her mantra - "I believe I am beautiful, I have peace, and I live an abundant life". I repeat it to myself every morning until I believe it, which is what has helped me become the happy, strong, courageous, loving, woman I am today.
On the other hand, what happens to those who aren't as fortunate to have someone like her? What happens to all those people who don't even know who to go to for help? What happens then?
This is what breaks my heart, how our society has created a social stigma over people who don't find themselves well and suffer from a mental illness which categorizes them as "crazy", just like that, they're "defective" and "deserve less". But let me ask you, how are we better than them if we have this mindset? Aren't we the ones who should be called crazy for creating a world like this?
That's why I didn't hesitate when Saks reached out and asked me to join this movement. I want to destroy this stigma and make the world a place where people feel comfortable being who they are. Because don't you see? We need people who are crazy!! The crazy ones are those who revolutionize the world. Einstein for example was called “crazy” when he came up with the theory of relativity. Rosa Parks was called “crazy” for not wanting to give up her seat.
So why are we still using the word “crazy” in such a negative way?
My point is that we need to STOP using words like this in a negative way and instead START supporting and providing help. And if you've ever been called "crazy" at some point in your life, guess what... There’s nothing wrong with being a bit crazy sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with not being ok all the time.
So I invite you on this mission to break this social stigma and create a world that is stigma-free - where we all feel comfortable being who we are and looking for support and treatment if/when we need it. #TheFutureIsStigmaFree if we decide it to be.