For those who know we well will know that I am a positive person and believe in positive affirmations, I've spent that past seven years or so growing as a person but I've also learnt in the past three years that sometimes my positivity has been rather toxic. I know it sounds crazy, how can being positive be seen as toxic?! Well you see I was so focused on being a positive person that I didn't really listen to how I was actually feel, there was no room for bad days and I felt that if I admitted I was struggling in my personal life or business then it would make me look bad. In truth, holding in all my feelings for years meant that it all exploded out in a much messier way. It's like a coke can, if you keep shaking it eventually it's going to burst.
The more we tell ourselves that we need to 'put on a brave face' or 'others have it worse' the bigger the explosion is at the other end. I hate the phrase 'others have it worse so I should be grateful' it's literally guilt tripping yourself into pretending that everything's okay. I've had it said to me by someone else and I could easily go around telling other parents to be thankful that they have neuro-typical kids but I wouldn't because that would make me a massive d**k. I understand that everyone has challenges in their lives, whatever they're going through no matter how 'big' or 'small' it might appear it's a challenge and those emotions need to be processed to be able to move on.
The more we shut people down for trying to express how they feel, the worse our mental health crisis is going to get.
Remember when Caroline Flack died and people were saying "If only she reached out for help" when her personal life was publicly sprawled over the news and she was being slagged off on social media, if she had cried for help she would probably have been called 'attention seeking' or 'it's alright for her she's got fame and fortune' mental health doesn't discriminate when it comes to picking its victims. The next time you're feeling down and you try and slap on a brave face, just take some time out to do something that's going to make you feel better, talk to a friend, journal, reach out for help in a support group, seek a therapist but most of all just be honest with your emotions.
If you ever need us we're in the GRL PWR support group and Friday is dedicated to Honour your feelings, look after yourself.
With love & gratitude,
Ana Louise Bonasera
Ana Louise Bonasera, mum of 4 boys, girl power enthusiast.