September is Suicide Prevention Month, and Saturday, September 10th was National Suicide Prevention Day. As someone who has struggled openly with their mental health, I wanted to take a moment this month to provide community to anyone who may feel alone, and share a message with anyone who may be struggling with their own mental health.
When we’re in our hard times, we are face to face with our problems. It can be really difficult to see solutions from up close, and it’s in these times that we can feel hopeless and ready to give up. I think the best thing we can do for ourselves in these moments is to give ourselves time. When we give ourselves the opportunity to see how things unfold, when we let go and let the universe provide us with solutions we can’t see, we create space for beautiful things to come into our lives.
A year ago I felt lonely, and uninspired. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next or who it would be with. I am really lucky to have family and friends who encourage me when I’m not able to do so for myself, but in the last year I also had to really show up for myself when I didn’t want to. I had to be the one to tell myself, “it’s going to get better, we just have to wait. This is not my final form.”
So that’s what I did. I showed up for myself in whatever way I could and I let the people who loved me support me where I couldn’t support myself. I worked on what I was capable of working on, and tried to find things that made me feel better. I started drawing designs in my free time and working on bikinis just to feel creative. I narrowed my circle to people who wanted to see me win, and who supported me in my highs and my lows.
A year later, I just previewed my second swim collection at Hawaii Swim Show. I have really healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships that make me feel loved and safe.
If you had asked me a year ago if any of this would be happening, I wouldn’t have been able to see any of it for myself because I was up too close to my own pain. I’m not telling you these things because everything is magically going to be perfect in your life. I still have hard days. Finding success and love do not erase my struggles, but being able to find them even while I’m still struggling reminds me that life has a way of showing us beauty when we give it the opportunity to. There are beautiful moments to be found in simple joys like being together with people you love, a good meal or just being outside. Things still get hard, but finding those tiny moments of joy reminds me that they won’t stay that way forever.
Please give yourself the chance to grow, learn and stumble upon life’s happiest moments when you least expect them. Our lives are constantly shifting and evolving, requiring us to shift and evolve. It may not always be comfortable, and sometimes it might hurt, but I am a firm believer that every low is matched by an equal high, and you and I just have to stick around to see how it plays out.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, and seek help immediately. You are supposed to be here. If you feel moved to donate to a cause this month to support mental health struggles, please consider donating to The Trevor Project, which provides 24/7 assistance to LGBTQIA+ youth who are dealing with mental health struggles. This organization is incredible and I have admired their work for years. If you can’t donate this month, take this opportunity to check in on your friends, your family, and yourself. We’re better together.<3