“Tough Exterior. But really how tough are you?”

“Tough Exterior. But really how tough are you?”

I guess I’m just in the mood to write lately, to be honest it saves me from myself.

Marcia Hahn was kind enough to provide photos of myself and the other female trainers at Hahn, a few weeks back. The woman that took them was different than anyone I’ve ever worked with, shawnna Jones is her name. She is very unique, and marches to the beat of her own drum. I liked her from the moment I met her.

However she pulled a different side of me out. I’m a very smiley person, I smile always, when I’m sad, happy, mad whatever I smile. She asked me not to in a few of these photos. This picture of me, (which I have zoomed in on because it’s a large photo of a group. My apologies if it’s taking anything from the quality of her work, which is amazing.) accurately describes how I feel some times, not happy. Which is normal. For every one. My choice for my self and the way I live is to not express that side of me, not because I’m hiding anything but because I was so sad and so mad for so long. I don’t want to be that way anymore. However, it is inevitable some days and ultimately is part of who I am. The good. The bad. The indifferent. All make up who we are.

It is no secret I struggle with anxiety, adhd and have an eating disorder as well as battled depression. Which brings me to this day. And this current mood I’m in, that Shawnna happened to capture a few weeks back.

I often wonder if those who have never struggled with mental issues truly understand how terrifying it is to be lost in your own head. So often you only see what’s on the outside, the smiling and strong person. Which I and many others are. However it’s not easy. Because of people who have abused the system and taken advantage of the medication that I and others truly need to make it through the day we are often profiled by the people who are set in place to help us.

It happens to me a lot, on paper I’m a single mother with no insurance who has prescriptions for “uppers (adhd control)and downers(anti-anxiety)” their words not mine, most times I come as soon as you open,to pick up my medication with my kid in tow, cash in my hand and looking like I’ve been up all night. I see you looking at me and judging me.

What you don’t know is, I’m a mess because I’ve been in a gym training people or myself since 4am, my kid is with me because I occasionally pick him up from school early to spend one on one time with him I sometimes don’t get in the evening, and I have cash because I once lost everything and only had $70 dollars to my name and money means nothing to me but you can bet your ass if I can’t hold on my hand I don’t believe it’s there.

It’s not because I’m the type of person you’re profiling me as. I can’t explain to you how it feels when you ask for help, and your honest about things, like your medication being stolen from you because you’re to trusting around people— and you’re not sure what you should do but you know that with out it you’re going to lose your shit. You’re following all the correct steps and still being treated like you’re less than someone and not worthy of being respected. It’s sad.

Do not get me wrong, some of my closest friends are in the medical field, and doctors and pharmacists—I call them often and get their feed back on general situations. That maybe it’s me being to sensitive. But I’m not. This is a real problem. I know that because they are always honest and by book to help me understand— but they are also always very respectful.

I think often times in life, we look at people and we think we know. But we don’t. We don’t know how hard they are fighting to force that smile, how much they repeatedly choose happiness and humor to help them cope with things they can’t control. Often times we judge people and we profile them. I’ve done it. And so have you. We have to stop.

We have to starting giving people chances, we have to start seeing good in people, we have to stop assuming every one has bad intentions, we have to start being more patient with people who have mental struggles. We have to realize that we all have days where we feel like I look in this picture, pissed off and over it. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is taking it out on others. Especially people who are seeking your help. Your bad days aren’t a pass for you to jump all over the girl, who you assume is just getting a fix because she looks wore out and ran down in the pharmacy line. Maybe she’s a depressed mom. Or running herself into the ground just trying to feel normal. Your irritation in life is not because of the man who looks like he needs a shower and should be buying soap but is buying cigarettes, so why are you being mean to him and judging him.

All I’m saying is this picture right here proves that we all have pissed off days. Days we want to be rude and judge everyone. That doesn’t make it right. What do you want to be known for? Being mean and judgmental? Or being kind and helpful.

I can promise you from experience, its not easy struggling with your mental health. But it also shouldn’t be this hard. And what makes it hard is people, judging and mean people. Stop that. It’s not nice.