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Trigger Warning: Thoughts of Suicide.

((You may wonder where my Friday, May 13th weekly post on Budgeting is. Truth is, I have been suffering another silent battle these last few days...))

May is Mental Health Month in the United States. In light of this, I'm involved with FilExcellence's #IsangDiwa Campaign, helping to elevate the Filipino experience globally by destigmatizing mental health amongst many other initiatives. It's here, that I wished to share my own, personal story with mental health.

On my 31st birthday, I was diagnosed with a brain disorder. This disorder causes me to act in really uncharacteristic ways - a far cry from the warm, well-spoken, assertive, communicative, consistent and high achieving person that I usually am. This has involved getting into physical wrestling matches with police officers, to resisting my own arrest. I've also experienced the debilitating lows of Major Depression and in fact, when I was only 26 years old, consistently wanted to take my own life. I've been in the pit of despair, not knowing what to do or where to go. Being in a dark and depressing state was isolating, gloomy and often frightening. I remember so strongly, of no longer wanting to be here. (Below is a photo of when I was 26 years old and suffering suicidal ideation).

A friend or passerby would never be able to tell I was experiencing a Major Depression with suicidal ideation. Look at my smile and energy displayed in the photo below. I came across like I was okay though I was suffering the biggest, most quiet struggle of my whole life: battling the urges to take my own life.

It all may sound very dramatic now and it was, at the time. However looking back, I would never want to change the experiences for the world, because they have made me who I am. I now approach people with 3 pillars: those are Curiosity, Compassion and Empathy because after all, you never know what someone is going through.

In a roundabout way, I attribute these experiences to my success as a Financial Advisor. I'm able to meet clients where they are and build holistic plans to succeed and achieve each of their financial visions. I'm able to listen to clients and gain the trust and rapport to proceed with building a solid, financial plan.

With this post, I encourage each of you to open your minds and hearts to others, I encourage you to break the rumours and misinformation about mental health, actively helping to build a world that is accepting of its neurodivergence. Signed, Filipina Budget Girl.

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