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Today is National Mental Health Day and National Coming Out Day and in honor of those days, I wanted to talk about my mental health something I haven’t really dived into here on my blog. You can read about my coming out story called Girl, Bi, Bi-Bi Girl, and Every Day is National Coming Out Day. “Why are you so dressed up?” is a question that I am faced with a lot in my everyday life and I’m finally here to explain why I am always so dressed up.

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The Past

I started going to therapy when I was 16 years-old shortly after my mother passed away and continued to go to therapy on and off until I was a 21-year-old working on my undergraduate. I went to therapy for a lot of reasons: social anxiety, homesickness, trauma, PTSD, depression, to learn better ways to cope with the death of my mother, and how to take care of myself.

During some of my darkest times, those times when I couldn’t bring myself to get out of my bed except to go to the bathroom and force myself to eat something when life felt unbearably overwhelming and not worth living another second – all I had to look forward to was getting ready in the morning. I am a creature of habit. I get comfortable and once I’m comfortable, I like to stick to what I know. This is something that I’ve been battling with my entire life but I never realized how much of problem it was until I was 18 years old.

So when I’m faced with a situation that is unfamiliar to me, for example, the death of my mother or moving to a new state, I have a tendency to spiral. I get anxiety which triggers my depression which, in the past, has caused me to feel suicidal on more than one occasion.

I remember one of my therapists once strongly encouraging me to have a daily routine because I had days where I literally had to force myself out of bed because I couldn’t afford to miss any more days of school or because I needed the money so I had to go to work. That’s when I would do my hair, put on a red lip, and my favorite outfit and call it a day. During some of my darkest times, getting ready in the morning was my routine. I was familiar with it.

It was my source of comfort during an uncomfortable time in my life and that’s why I overdress.

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The Present

Over the years I dress up more so because I thoroughly enjoy dressing up and getting ready every morning and less as a coping mechanism, but my mental health is an ongoing battle. For the most part, I can sit here and say that I am happy with where my life has taken me and where it’s going, but I still struggle. I still have moments in my life where I feel overwhelmed by everything. From September until January are some of the toughest months of the year for me for several reasons that I don’t feel like diving into with anyone except my therapist.

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The Future

Speaking of a therapist, on October 5th, I tweeted that I had made two really big decisions in my life and one of them I’m happy to share here on my blog. I have been wanting to go back to therapy for a while now, but have been struggling to find a therapist that was right for me, my lifestyle, and my work schedule. I have finally decided to give Talkspace a try and I cannot wait to get started. I know from my own personal encounters that there is still a stigma surrounding mental health and therapy. However, I’m hoping that by sharing part of my mental health journey that I can help end the stigma and to let people know that it’s okay to ask for help.

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Shop My Look

Dress: by Nadia Aboulhosn – Cardigan: Forever 21 Plus – Earrings: Halogen – Lips: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Liquid Lipstain in 01 Always Red – Shoes (Not Photographed): Universal Thread

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