CHAPTER 3OWN YOUR STORY

After reading part I, you should have a good understanding of mental health and you may be able to recognise some signs of risk. It's now time to take the first practical step on your journey to better health. This involves owning up to yourself and being vulnerable as you confront some difficult home truths. The very first step is to own your narrative — your story.

Why should I own it?

To own your story is to acknowledge the truth of your experience, without shame, and to support your personal wellbeing through conversation and self-observation.

Basically, it's your first step towards becoming well and healthy. It's the ability to talk candidly about your journey, the different things you suffer from, how you've identified them and the things you can do to heal.

We all have our own stories made up of our different experiences — both learned and innate. And while your own story is yours alone, there will always be someone going through a similar battle. We often feel like our struggles are unique to us, when the reality is many people are going through similar battles. Some things are harder to deal with than others, but by sharing stories and experiences we can help each other to understand that it's okay, it's part of life and we can get through it.

When you can't control everything, the rollercoaster of life can often leave you with overwhelm, extreme stress and burnout. There's also a strong element of shame when it comes to owning your story. ...

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