Through social media, one can paint a picture perfect image of their life. Cropping and filters make it easy to appear happy and problem free.
Often times, however, underneath that glossy exterior hides someone who is struggling, someone who is fighting a battle about which no one knows.
Amber Smith is one of those people, but she is ready to show her true colors.
On Facebook she posts two photos of herself.
The first photo is what she “showcase[s] to the world via social media.” Dressed to the nines with her hair and make up done, this is the “normal” side of her.
..Or what people believe is the normal side of her, at least.
The second photo, she admits, is the real her.
“Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety,” she writes. “Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.”
Hiding beneath the filters and make-up is a girl who is struggling with mental illness.
For years, she has been secretly “battling a monster inside [her] head. Every day of her life.
Amber knows the statistics; they remind her that she is not alone in struggle.
“They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?!”
Some people, she realizes, just don’t get. She may be young and may appear to be “fine,” but mental illness does not discriminate.
Most importantly, she knows that her struggles have made her stronger, and with the help of her loved ones she will overcome any obstacle.
“I’m a strong person, I’ve been through my fair share of crap in life (the same as anyone else) and I will be okay. I have the best family and friends around me and I am thankful everyday that they have the patience to help and support me.”
Exposing the “real” Amber isn’t easy, but she is hoping that doing so will help squash the stigma associated with mental illness. She wants to show others the importance of building people up instead of breaking them down.
“[I]t costs nothing to be nice to others,” she says. “Don’t bully others, don’t put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don’t judge another person.”
And she is hoping to remind those with mental illnesses that they don’t have to suffer alone.
“To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around – Don’t be scared to ask for help.”
Because beneath that glossy exterior, “we’re all human.”
Independent Journal Review has reached out to Amber for further comment but has not yet received a response.
Source: Independent Journal Review