#IDONTMIND is a mental health awareness campaign launched today by Chris Wood for Mental Health Awareness Week.

It’s about destigmatizing the fear and shame surrounding mental illness; recognizing that the struggle is real but you’re not alone in it.

I’ve never really spoken about it with anyone, aside from a brief period of school counseling/therapy back in middle school. It’s still hard to find the words to talk about this. I have dealt with depression and anxiety since my pre-teen days. With it also came a lot of self-doubt because it felt like the general opinions toward these was that you are ‘just being dramatic’ or ‘this is a phase, the feelings will pass eventually’ or ‘stop being sad’/’snap out of it’ as if it’s something you can control simply by telling yourself to feel happy.

I feel like a decent chunk of my life has been held hostage in a way because there were friendships, potential romantic prospects, life events and whatnot that I’ve let slipped by because of the enormous grip anxiety can have on me.

It’s something that is always lying right underneath the surface; some days I feel it more than other days. I do believe there is power in opening up a conversation so that these issues are no longer shrouded and people don’t feel the need to force themselves to hide an essential part of them.

Five years ago, I lost an incredible friend and to this day I don’t know with absolute certainty what the reasons were but I do believe that she was dealing with similar demons and most likely felt she had no outlet to voice what was going on in her mind. It breaks my heart to think that maybe if she did, things might have turn out differently.

For far too long I have silenced myself. But no longer. I don’t mind speaking out and hope you do too because



With an open mind & heart,



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