Hello, everyone, thank you so much for joining me for another episode of the More Than You See podcast hosted by me, actor, filmmaker, mental health advocate, Deborah Lee Smith. Every Monday, I come to you to share some resources, have a conversation, and generally just dive into all sorts of topics around mental health. I am not a licensed practitioner or therapist, but just a woman exploring my own mental health journey and sharing it with you, my listeners, my hope is that this podcast brings you some joy, some understanding, and some tools so that you can build your own mental health toolbox.
Hello, everyone to Episode Three of the podcast. Surprise, today's episode is actually going to be another solo episode. If you don't follow me on Instagram, then you may not know that I'm actually traveling right now, all across the East Coast of the US for a documentary shoot, I am being very safe, we are COVID compliant, all of those wonderful things. And I have to say I am so very pleased to be back creating and doing storytelling in some capacity. But the downside of that means that I really haven't been able to take the time and put my attention on this podcast and all of the incredible guests that I have coming up. So I have many other interviews in the can that I cannot wait to share with you.
But I just wanted to take a pause and do a check in with you all as a tiny little episode. And this is kind of what I meant when it comes to the fact that I don't really know what the format of this season is going to be. I want to continue to provide incredible interviews to you all because I think that you will get something wonderful from each guest. But I also want to take the time and the space to respect you know, your time as well as my time and make sure that I am giving you my all.
As always with these podcasts, I want to make sure that I am devoting time and attention to bring you quality episodes. But I also want to make sure that I am focusing on the things that I preach so that I'm practicing what I preach. And that comes to self care and taking care of myself and making sure that I am not overwhelming myself too much. So because of that I decided to do a little short episode today. Solo episode. And I want to talk about mental health month.
Right now is mental health month, that is May. And I think that there is a lot of importance and validity to putting attention on a topic during a month. I think that that's wonderful. But I also think that it can come with some negative things. I mean, for example, there's been a lot of discussion around the idea that you know, Black History Month should not just be one month. Because black history, female - like women's history, you know, just any any person of color, any marginalized community, their history matters all of the time. And that is the same for mental health. Whatever you are feeling during May does not go away as soon as June comes.
And so I think that I want to just have a call to action for everyone today. The importance of absolutely being vulnerable, talking about mental health and sharing, you know who you are with others during this month. But also make sure that you are feeling supported and comfortable sharing of yourself during all of the other months as well. Because I think that that is so incredibly important. It should not just be that mental health is important in May. It is important every single day.
And I think that one of the aspects of that is the fact that mental health is a life long journey. I know that I've had people who've reached out to me before on Instagram and said like, you know, like "do you feel depressed" or "how did you cure yourself" or "how did you you know, whatever, like, are you over that"? And I want to state for the record that absolutely not. The thing that I have found through my mental health journey is that I am now more aware of my own mental health struggles and the ways that I can cope with it, more than I ever have been in my life. And I consider that such a huge gift.
I am so grateful for all of the struggles that I've had. And I'm speaking truthfully, here, I'm not, you know, trying to just like, this is like say this for saying this sake. Like, I'm not doing that. I literally am saying that I am so grateful for all of the challenges that I've had in my life, because all of those challenges have led me to who I am today and to a greater understanding and love of myself. But also a love of the dark sides of myself, and also a greater understanding of what I can do, when those sides of myself kind of take the wheel. And I know that that is, is sometimes a very uncomfortable thing to do. To acknowledge that this darkness is going to be part of me forever. It really is. And I have, I have come to terms with the fact that that is the case. And by coming to terms with it, I am able to accept myself more, accept when I'm feeling good and accept when I'm feeling bad and figure out how I can process those more difficult times.
I guess I don't necessarily have a, you know, specific resource or goal for anyone today. I just want to acknowledge that our feelings of anxiety, depression, postpartum, whatever you are going through - OCD, whatever you are going through - those aspects just make up who we are. And that's a beautiful thing. I think that sometimes we don't appreciate our dark sides, because they've been so stigmatized, and they've been, you know, we've been told to be happy and all of these kinds of things, but, but that's just, you know, human beings are special, because we're all so different. And I think that that's really important to acknowledge that.
Hey, actually, I do have I do have a homework assignment for you today I'm making this up on the fly. But I hope that this resonates with you. I would like you to look at one thing that you do, whether it is a you know, the way that we're you react and the situation, the way that you interact with others, something about yourself that you think is dark and is potentially -that you think makes you unlovable or, or damaged in some way. I want you to look at those things. Look at one of those things in your life. One situation one, one darkness in yourself. And I want you to write that down on a piece of paper. And I want you to do whatever you can to make that thing on that piece of paper beautiful, whatever that means to you.
If you want to write down that like you know you have a hard time or like you feel like you you know - are you blow up in situations sometimes or whatever. And of course, I'm never talking about causing harm to yourself or others. Absolutely, that is not what I am saying. But I think that sometimes especially when we're struggling with mental health, we - and and previous trauma, generational trauma - like there's so many reasons why we hate aspects of ourselves. And I would really like you to write something down about yourself and draw hearts around it, draw flowers, do something that allows you to appreciate that darkness in yourself. Because again, it just makes you human. It does not make you unlovable. It makes you a full fledged, wonderful member of society and I am so grateful to know all of you and to know your darknesses and your positives.
I want to wrap up by reminding everyone that again, this is Mental Health Month, but just because May is Mental Health Month that does not mean that your mental health is not important every single day of the year. You matter. Period. And I want to encourage you to share your feelings and your situations, and your reactions, and your stories, with me and with the more than UC community. That truly, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, every single time I get a message from someone that tells me how, how it makes people feel - how this podcast - how the interaction with others makes them feel, it makes me feel so special and I love this community.
Please remember that you and everyone around you is More Than You See. Thank you so much for listening. Next week we will be coming back with another interview. And I'm really excited to share this one with you, as I am with all of them. Again, be kind to yourself and I look forward to seeing you next week.