Mental health is one of those topics that many people still feel uncomfortable talking about. It’s something that people are aware that it’s a problem, but aren’t necessarily willing to talk about it. In fact, that’s where the title of this blog came from. Mental illness often feels like you’re drowning… that nothing can ever save you; that you’ll never be able to come back from the sea. It’s actually the meaning of the name Marnie – one part of the brand name, MARNIE & MICHAEL which is company that works hard on removing these stigmas and feelings of isolation.
Having struggled with depression and anxiety for years, I still have a hard time discussing it, for some reason. Ironically, there are times – usually around people I don’t know as well – where I just let it all out, sharing my perspective and challenges. Yet, it’s those that are closest to me that often know the least about what I’m going through. There’s something about a random stranger knowing that you’re having a difficult time, and actually listening and not judging, that makes it more doable, I guess.
I really hope I’m making sense through all of this… sometimes I just ramble, hoping that… eventually… my thoughts will find cohesion, that’s actually relatable and practical. It’s usually the practical steps that are the hardest to establish.
And this, dear reader, is why I’m so excited about what Marnie & Michael is doing. Not only does Jennifer (the founder) understand the struggle of mental illness, but she has experienced it in many personal ways. Instead of being knocked down by this, she has utilized these experiences to make something wonderful:
Mental Health Awareness Boxes
So… what’s the big deal about this?
The big deal is that something is being done. This amazing group of people have come together, to find a very practical, tangible way to make a difference. Occasionally throughout the year, Marnie & Michael release one of their bundles. Each bundle includes different products, where part of the proceeds go towards supporting a mental health awareness group. There are a couple of journals in there, to help the receiver process our emotions and struggles.
I really feel like I’m underselling this… maybe because it’s hard to communicate, via this blog post, how important this is. This is, literally, a hands-on way to help others. It not only supports local Canadian businesses, but it supports those who are actually making a difference.
Not sure about you, but whenever I hear about someone struggling, especially with mental health, I want to be able to do something… anything. I want to be there for them. I want to support them. I want to encourage them. Yet, when I’m struggling with my depression and anxiety, I often push people away. I build up those walls, and guard them with all my strength.
This is why we need more services like this. This is why we need to have these products in our hands. Whether you struggle with mental health challenges yourself, or if you know someone else who does, these bundles are perfect. The items, that aren’t directly mental health awareness related, are a perfect conversation starter. The journals are wonderful for actually processing things.
I would highly encourage you to look into this more. I know I was very grateful to receive this box. Yes, it’s in partnership with Marnie & Michael (yea for collaborations!), but it will be very beneficial. Depression sucks. Anxiety is crippling. It feels hopeless, and pointless. Especially with the colder weather, people aren’t getting out as much. With less daylight, Seasonal Affectedness Disorder really comes out to play. I don’t struggle with SAD personally, but it’s difficult enough for me to motivate myself to get out of bed, get dressed, and have something to eat. My struggle is minor compared to what others go through.
Christmas is coming, which for a lot of us, is full of mixed emotions. I have a very supportive, close-knit family. However, I’m still struggling with conflicting feelings. I want to see family, but I don’t want to socialize. I want to be open about what I’m feeling, but things from the past (thoughts, assumptions, old habits) quickly pop up, blindsiding any conversation I may be attempting to have, without being emotionally overwhelmed.
Quite often, many of those who are homeless struggle with mental illness. When mental health is poor, and not addressed, it manifests as a worse issue… like a wound, improperly attended, with puss oozing out. It’s gross. But, unlike physical wounds, emotional wounds can’t be seen. They’re felt, for far too long, far too many times.
Something has to change. As a society, we can’t continue on like this. There is enough, in our world, our lives, and our bank accounts to stress us out to the max. We need to realize that we can stop suffering secretly. I’m saying this to myself, as much as I am saying it to you.
The point is – when you find something that works, utilize it. Marnie & Michael is an amazing company, doing something productive and helpful. The more support we have for mental health, the less of a stigma it is. The more aware we are of how many of us are struggling with it, the less alone we all feel.
For more info on this holiday bundle, click here. If you’d like a sneak peek of what’s inside, check out my Instagram post right here. Please, if you have any questions, reach out. We want to help and encourage, support, and be there for you. You are not alone 💛
Want to know more?
Inside this box, you’ll find:
– Marnie & Michael zipped pouch
– Information pamphlets on Wendat Programs ($25 donation per bundle)
– Your choice of Journal of Discovery
– Tight Enough sticker
– Pluck Tea for Good & infuser
– Be Kind, Love Hard, Make Memories mini guided journal
*This post is written as part of a gifted collaboration with Marnie & Michael*