My #BeReal guest today is Nicole Lyons.
I am very excited to showcase my guest today. She has a way of making you feel at home with her words. Nicole is a mental health warrior fighting the stigmas that come with mental illness. Not only does she educate and inspire, she also hunts down and lifts up other mental health warriors.
I hope you visit some of these links and get to know her better. She is one heck of a lady!
The best way to create a better world is to support people like Nicole who are dedicated to improving it.
When Hasty first asked me to participate in the #BeReal series I was humbled and thrilled and quickly accepted her offer. The series struck a chord with me, and when she asked me to write about something that I was passionate about my mind started to race with ideas. Obviously I wanted to write about my passion for mental health advocacy, spreading awareness, and eradicating stigma, but it goes deeper than that. As ironic or even sad as it sounds, I struggled to find the words, as I wanted to make sure they would be pleasing and well received. I didn’t want to let Hasty down after she had invited me to contribute to such an amazing series. While I knew that would be unlikely, that’s what I thought, that is me being real. Thank you Hasty, for this brilliant series.
The greatest gift that I have ever received was a second chance at life. Whether I deserved it or not I got it, and I decided to do something with it. I’ll never be a person whose name goes into history books. I’ll never win awards, or receive accolades for my work. I will touch a few lives as I walk through this one. But on a cold dark morning a few years ago I made a promise to myself, one that I have tried my very hardest to keep.
It’s been five years now since I attempted to take my own life; five years of facing harsh realities, failures and painful memories, but it’s also been a time of healing, acceptance and rebirth. With the bad come the good, the sweet and the bittersweet, yin and yang if you will. When the dust settled and I chose to embrace my life, mistakes and all, I chose to share my story, devote part of this life to helping others know that they are not alone. Sometimes in our darkest moments it feels as though no one can possibly understand what we are feeling, sometimes we can’t even work it out ourselves, my passion lies in helping others to see themselves how I see them, full of light, love and hope.
I’m not here to keep you from the places you feel you have to go. She said. When you’re ready, I’m here to remind you of the way home.
What does being real mean to you?
Acknowledging and accepting everything about myself, even the dark and scary parts. Being real to me is allowing myself to forgive and seek redemption for the mistakes I have made. Admitting failure, defeat and the fact that I need help to make it through this life sometimes. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes, and it’s okay to allow others to not be okay. No one has his or her shit together, and once I realized that, everything became a lot easier.
How do you think people see you when they only have an image to go by?
I think people see me as approachable, I have kind eyes that have a bit of a mischievous twinkle to them. I think people would assume that I look fun but a bit old before my time as well. I wear my stories on my face; it’s a blessing and a curse.
My husband and I met an older gentleman last weekend and after a minute of conversation he was telling me something quite personal about himself. After our exchange my husband commented that it’s amazing how I have that way with people. For someone who is as high strung as I am, I have a way of making people feel safe and understood.
What do you think people are most surprised to discover about you?
While I can listen without judgment and offer sound advice to people in crisis, I find it very difficult to apply the same advice to my own life. I struggle every single day to lead a balanced and healthy life, but I don’t stop trying. I am not as strong as people think I am, words hurt me, and while I tell the world that I don’t care if people think poorly of me, I really do. I want people to like me. I crave acceptance and love.
Nicole is the mommy to two gorgeous and brilliant little girls who often almost drive her to drink. Her best friend is a 170lb Bullmastiff named Capone and she believes the world can be changed one small random act of kindness at a time. She’s a hippie at heart with a gypsy soul and she tries to spread love and light wherever she goes — when she’s not at home being an introvert. You can find her over at thelithiumchronicles.org or on her Facebook Page www.facebook.com/TheLithiumChronicles.
If you like the idea of the #BeReal campaign, and want to share your views on it, please link up with us. You can help make this a bigger, brighter movement than it already is.
All opinions welcome – it’s about being real, after all!
To help spread the message, read and share one another’s posts.
And remember – be YOU! #BeReal.