I’ve written a lot on here about mental health. At the moment, mental health and Christians who deal with it are very close to my heart. Why? Because I’m one of those Christians.
Especially Christian teens that deal with it.
I’ve talked to lots of people in the mental health and disability communities. A little known fact about me is that I grew up in the disability community. My favorite people didn’t look like me, and I would grow livid if anyone talked down to them, or hurt their feelings for that reason.
And so when I appeared in the mental health community, I wasn’t sure what to say or do. Especially since I was apart of it.
I’m not an expert. I’m not super smart. I’m just a teenager going through similar things to you, and if you’re just starting your mental health journey, I’m in front of you, extending a hand to help you. To give you hope.
I hate admitting I’m not okay. What are you supposed to say to people? They expect you to be okay, they want you to be okay. And someday you just have to realize that it’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to carry the weight of their expectations.
This week I found out that apparently I have anxiety, depression, and dermatillomania. I’ve never considered myself an anxious person, but apparently I am?
(Dermatillomania is the repeated picking of your skin, to the extent that you have open wounds on your skin. It’s related to OCD and anxiety, and yes. It’s really painful and really embarrassing and super super super gross.)
I’ve battled with dark thoughts, with losing the person I’ve always known as me. I’ve struggled with things that I would never wish on anyone else. Even though I wouldn’t want people to go through it, other people do go through it, and so the next best thing I can do? Help the people who are struggling with it.
And so I’m doing something huge.
I’m publishing a poetry book.
One of the ways to express the feelings that I wasn’t even sure I was feeling was to write them in poetry. To express truths and pain in the same poem, so I would know that even if I felt this way today, the truth is that it would be better.
Fifteen will be launching October 23, and it’s a book filled with poems about mental health. About the pains of trying to be okay, but not being okay. It’s filled with hope, because in the end, you don’t have to live with the demons in your head. You can get help, you can get better. It’s filled with the sunshine that follows the tears, it has the lullaby that soothes your fears.
I didn’t want to publish Fifteen originally. I didn’t want to put this out here, to have to work on this. But slowly, God showed me that this is my message. These poems are going out there to help you.
Because YOU have helped me so much.
Fifteen will also have hand drawn illustrations (and a few painted ones!) depicting the story as well. My prayer is that it’ll reach your heart and help you in your mental health journey, even if you aren’t a poetry fan.
And maybe it’ll help you understand others or still touch your heart even if you don’t struggle with mental health. Even if that isn’t the thorn in your side.
So raise a glass, my friend! Let’s celebrate this news!
If you’re super excited, go to my Instagram, follow me, and share my announcement post on your story because AHHHHHH. IT’S REAL, FOLKS! AFTER SO MUCH WORK.
Also, if you’re interested in being apart of the cover reveal, GO SIGN UP HERE!