Her biggest hope with her sharing is to encourage those hiding their mental health struggles to speak out and empower each other to recover. “I don’t know if I’m a positive influence. I just try to live my life as authentically as possible. I do feel much lighter now because I don’t have to hide anymore. As corny as it sounds, I guess the truth does set us free.” “As soon as I wake up, nothing feels right. Millions of destructive thoughts would just rush through my mind. It was as though my life has no meaning and sleeping became my escape.”
For the longest time, Charmaine could not understand why she felt the lack of motivation to get out of bed. She too decided to hide her struggles, her feelings of shame and believing that she was weak for not being able to control her emotions as she had everything going well for her. Charmaine’s frustration only escalated her anxiety leading to moments when simple conversations with people scared her and left her crying uncontrollably over nothing.
Charmaine turned to the people closest to her gathering a shield of positivity from them to stop herself from slipping deeper into the darkness. When she stopped believing that she was weak, she began to see just how many people saw mental health issues as a sign of weakness rather than an illness – and that needed to be addressed. “There has always been a stigma surrounding the word “depression” or “anxiety”, people still see it as a sign of weakness and it is so important for us as public figures to use our platform responsibly and take the initiative to share our personal experiences, to remind the public that we shouldn’t be afraid of our vulnerabilities.”