Ming – Shan You
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Story from Ming

Share your mental health/stigma experience.

After years of self help and personal development, I thought I am strong enough and should never feel depressed again. But I had a major emotional blow that made me questioned all that I have learnt. My emotional pain was so unbearable that hurting myself felt like a comfort. I felt completely alone and that no one would ever understand. I felt ashamed because people look up to me for the right answers for self help. I felt guilty because I could not forgive myself for being weak again, but I know I am not suppose to be criticising myself so much. All the positive beliefs crumbled and I was unwilling to bring to mind positive thoughts, afraid that I would be proven wrong again. I was in this dark unforgiving space for months. The biggest struggle was that people will find out and realise I am a fraud. Not realising that this severe inner conflict was to due to my own stigma of mental health conditions. That I strive to be 'strong' because I see emotional vulnerability and sensitivity as weak.

How did you respond to this experience?

I confronted my fear by exposing my vulnerability to myself and those close to me. I had lengthy meditations, allowing myself to cry, and dig into self compassion books. I realise that I had use positive thoughts to suppress and mask the strong emotions I am feeling within, ultimately still afraid of my intense emotions. Instead of thinking or rationalising, I allow myself to feel the full intensity of the pain and had a good long crying session. I felt so light afterwards! It is not about turning negative into positive, it is about embracing both the negative and positive in you.

Help others by sharing a positive message.

Don't be afraid of what arises within you, it is you.. Good or bad. If it shows up, it means that you have the tenacity to hold it. Don't be afraid to cry, don't be afraid to be vulnerable.. These are not weaknesses, these are strengths.

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