To help others, you have to help yourself.

It’s taken some time to figure out why I’ve lacked ideas and inspiration to post. And I now realise it’s because I’ve felt hypocritical and had some aspects of imposter syndrome.

For some reason I’d got it in my head that in order to be able to post and “be motivational” for others, I have to be fully recovered and in an amazing place in life. Otherwise, what right do I have to give advice/suggestions? Feeling like it’s stupid of me to try and be helpful because I’m struggling myself with my own issues.

But when you think about it, how silly is that thought? Any motivation, help, guidance I can give to people who suffer through similar things is the point. Just because I find it difficult to take my own advice doesn’t mean others can’t. Let’s be real, nobody is good at taking their own advice. And I feel like I’ve been through too much and know a lot about mental health that it would be wrong of me to not share what I’ve learnt and experienced. This isn’t because I have to, but I want to. I know how it is to be in those dark places, I’ve done the trial and error of treatments, therapy, medications. I’ve felt the lowest lows and I’ve somehow brought myself out of them at times. I have a story to share and ideas to give. Even if I struggle applying it to my own life, I know it can benefit someone out there.

No one ever became an expert at something right off the bat. Even the thousands of influencers that have battled things still have their moments. No one is perfect. We’re all always learning and growing as people. Our experiences and thoughts never stop. So if being able to help others professionally is what I want to do eventually, I have to start somewhere. I may not be “qualified” on paper yet, but I’m a firm believer that no average doctor or therapist will ever truly know what a patient goes through unless they do themselves. No book can teach mental illness in its entirety. So I’d like to think I have an advantage in that aspect to be able to help others in a more empathetic way.

So I hope my words can make some difference to those who read them. It’s as much for you as it is for me. When I write, I speak to myself as much as I speak to you.

18 thoughts on “To help others, you have to help yourself.

  1. Mark Wester says:

    Love this article! And I totally agree with you.
    I think all of us have problems in our lives and being open and honest about our problems is the most inspirational thing we can do.
    Sharing our experiences will help people feel less alone with their own problems and for me personally, it’s always been more helpful to read stories and articles written by people who’re going through the same difficulties that I’m facing right now – rather than looking at the totally perfect world of an influencer. I do not have anything against those who prefer creating a perfectly-looking fairy-tale-like online life because I guess it helps them, but I just don’t believe it’s real so….
    And well, I can totally agree with what you have just said about giving advice to other people! The fact that we cannot take our own advice doesn’t mean that others can’t…and also, there are cases when something works for one person but doesn’t work for another. Like..I often share pieces of advice on my blog that did not work for me personally, but worked for a lot of other people ’cause at the end of the day, we’re all different, aren’t we?

    Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    And keep up with the good work. Found your blog very helpful ❤


    Liked by 1 person

  2. mdperry says:

    I was 9 when it started, 1969, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I started some therapy in 1984, so I was 24, and in graduate school, and I went to the student centre for learning and support, which had some counselors, and I joined a group (as in group therapy) for struggling graduate students, but it was all still a secret, and nobody diagnosed me, but sometime around then I diagnosed myself. It was another 10 years, so 1994, and I was 34, before I was officially diagnosed, and started meds. So what is that, 25 yrs? 25 years of OCD anguish, on my own. If there is one 9 year old kid out there today who reads your blog, and decides to get some help, well then, you may have saved a life, and made a contribution, and alleviated some human suffering, and made a difference. So that is why I love following you on social media, and reading your posts, because I really, really, wish that there had been a blog like yours when I was younger. #respect

    Liked by 1 person

    • edmyjourneyocd says:

      Wow, this was such a lovely comment, thank you so much for taking the time to write this to me! I’m glad I can be of help to you and others, you make sharing my story even more worth it


  3. Lavender Phillips says:

    I loved this. Everything you said is so true. I honestly believe that Mental Illness is so personal to each person but any advice which can help someone is invaluable. (By the way, I love your shirt) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AJ says:

    I absolutely love this! We really don’t need to have everything figured out before we can help out others.

    A few lessons learnt is enough, especially for those who are finding themselves in similar situations you’ve already passed through. Amazing ✨

    Liked by 1 person

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