Before I begin, this is not something I have always done or been good at. I used to be in this shell that never opened up about her emotions. This person who would bottle everything inside because I did not want people to get to know that side of me. Everyone wants to be perceived as this strong individual and they think looking vulnerable makes you look weak. In reality, nothing can make you appear stronger than being willing to sit there exposed in your vulnerability. It is easy to hide your true emotions and choose to keep it private. The difficulty lies in opening up outside of your shell and being an open book for people to read. I was one of those people who thought no one should ever see me cry, complain or know anything about my personal life.

Until one day I was speaking with someone who was at a very low point in their life and needed advice. I decided to share my own story with them – not realizing the impact my story made. When I heard the words “your strength inspires me.” I realized that in my weakness, I am actually extremely strong. Through all the bad that has happened, I never realized I can use it to inspire others and help others get out of their own sadness. So in helping someone get out of their own dark hole with my own story and how I have been coping since I was 11, I was inspired to share the darker side of my bright world with others.

Talking about it is therapeutic

Not very surprising, but the more you speak about something, the less over bearing it becomes. This was the case with myself. I start noticing the more I spoke about my own problems, the more I felt free. When you are at such a low point, feeling free gets you out of your shell. If you are not talking about it, you are probably not fully healing.

Sometimes your problem feels smaller

At some point, the more you speak about your issues, the smaller they become. At the end of the day, you are one small particle in an entire universe. There are so many things going on around you. Some positive, some negative. To remind yourself, that all the big negative things also amount to all the big positive things, is extremely healthy.

This is easier said than done though. Something I have found though – the more I have been writing about my own life and openly sharing it, the quicker I shake out of it and realize all the good things happening around me.

You never know who you will inspire

Or save their life. Seriously, sometimes telling someone your own story, helps them get through their own journey. If I have helped one person in my lifetime, shake off their thoughts of not belonging in this crazy world, I would feel content with everything I have done. Sometimes even the people you feel seem okay, need a shoulder to lean on. I am a strong believer in trying to be as many people’s light in their dark world. Obviously, you can not help every single individual you meet and not everyone may like you. But if you can even change one person’s life, I promise you it is worth it.

Saving someone else, might end up saving you.

My story has been a long one. I have been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and manic depression since I was only 11 years old. I can not turn off these thoughts and some days I feel like a small particle that wants to melt away. Other days, I feel okay again. The one thing I do know is those moments where someone reaches out to me – especially someone I am not even close with. I feel great. It feels like my life has purpose all over again and it gets me out of my dark tunnel even if it is for one single moment.

Be open when you are ready, it only leads to good things.

And I reiterate, when you are ready, open up! However, I always encourage putting yourself in the uncomfortable and opening up. It never can hurt you to be brave enough to share your own story with someone. It will only fuel the fire that is ignited inside of you. So shine bright, speak up and be the change you want to see in your own world.