Submitted by: Ashley Moulton, Burin campus
This is Ashley’s story.
My name is Ashley I am a second-year Welding Engineering Technician student at CAN’s Burin campus.
I wanted to share #MyStory for mental health and wellness month.
As many people may know, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. From personal experience, I know just how hard it can be to come out and talk to someone about mental health and wellness. From a young age, I struggled greatly with my mental health, but when I was younger, there weren’t as many great supports available as there are today.
For me, doing a certain task multiple times a day to prevent something bad from happening was just something I had to do. It became a routine, almost like a ritual, from the moment I woke up until the time I went to bed. Not only was this mentally exhausting, but physically as well.
For years, I hid everything from my family and friends. It took me years to finally realize that I needed help and I couldn’t fight this on my own.
Trying to find the courage to finally speak out and try to get help was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In saying that, I’m so glad I did.
I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD. When many people think of OCD they think of keeping things organized, but OCD is so much more than that for many people including me. It comes in many forms, and as I mentioned earlier, I found myself doing tasks over and over every day to prevent something bad from happening.
These actions and tasks took over my life … for years! But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. When I was finally diagnosed, I found out many people were struggling with similar things as I did, including members of my family.
Today, I am doing so much better and have learned to deal and cope with these compulsions. It took a lot of time though, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the amazing supports I had along the way.
My main message to you is if you are struggling, speak out! It may seem hard, but it will be so worth it in the long run. If you know someone who is struggling with their mental health, encourage them to find their voice and speak to someone about it – whether it’s a close friend, family member, colleague, or a trained professional. It WILL help.
I hope that sharing my story will help others with their mental health and wellness and help reduce the stigma.