Kelly opens up about his mental health journey over the past year. We hope you find his honest and transparent account as inspiring as we have.
“I’ve had quite the challenging year with some difficult news, and experiences, however, I’ve been able to learn from them to make myself a better and stronger person. Working out has always been something that I do when I’m feeling good, but it took me a long time to realize that working out was something that actually helped me feel good. It strengthens my body, and it strengthens my mind. I think that it all comes from how regular exercise improves your discipline. It gave me the strength to work through my problems instead of cowering from them, and the mental fortitude to do the things I really wanted to do. It was something that I really needed.
I have 4 mental health diagnoses to date, which almost fills out all of the fingers on your hand. They all pose enough of a challenge on their own, however together, they are like a cursed mosaic. Everything becomes difficult, sometimes impossible: school, relationships, anything you could think of. My marks dropped, I stopped doing the things I loved like making music, drawing, working out, and creating things. Losing all of these things only made everything worse. I feel like I’ve lived through 20 years in the last 5, but I don’t think I’ve wasted a second. I’ve come through this with the realization that every traumatic experience you’ve had and everything wrong you’ve done is a stepping stone to being a better you. If you don’t learn from them it’s almost impossible to move on, taking a lesson from something provides closure.
I went to the psych ward in February because I was dealing with a lot of suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and there I learned the value of people and relationships. Following a near suicide attempt, I learned that life isn’t just about how you value yourself, it’s about how others do too and if you don’t want to live for yourself, at least do it for someone else. My friends and family helped me a lot with this. Even if you don’t feel loved, you are, and if you’re not, there is someone out there who will. Never give up, because things can always get better, but you can’t just sit there and hope it happens. You have to make changes yourself. It takes hard work, really hard work.
If you are at a loss for what to do, just for a month try eating better, working out, spend time with people you love, do nice things for strangers, and learn compassion for all those who receive none. I promise you will feel better. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, I would love to chat! If you think you or someone you know is struggling and don’t know how to help, I can give you some advice. I love working here at NRG and all of our members and staff are such wonderful people, and I’m so glad that I work here. Good luck with everything! Go team NRG!”