Over the past few years, mental health – the stigma and the reality – have become a hot topic. And rightly so. Mental health should be as normal and natural to discuss as the common cold.
So why isn’t it?
There are a myriad of reasons mental health has a stigma surrounding it. Rather than get into them here, I would rather share a real life story. A story shared to me by a local entrepreneur who has struggled with her mental health for most of her life.
“As someone who has struggled with my mental health for majority of my life, I often lived in silence, I didn’t speak up with it came to my mental health because of the stigma that surrounded me. As I learned more about my illnesses, and how to better care for myself, I started realize that I found my strength through sharing about my story and my experiences.”
“Living with an eating disorder is one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever gone through, but what is harder is feeling alone through the battle. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy and darkness. When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, I had no idea what was going on in my life. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and disconnected from myself and the world around me. I was lost, and didn’t know where to turn.”
“Early in 2017, when I wasn’t doing well, I talked to my family Doctor who referred me to a local Eating Disorder Clinic which unfortunately had a 2-4 month waiting list. I felt I didn’t have the time to wait so I started googling.”
“I googled Eating Disorder Therapists near me, with the hope that I would find someone. The first link I found lead me to NEDIC (National Eating Disorder Information Center). The website allowed me to enter my location, and from there it pulled up all the professionals located near me. I looked into each one, then contacted someone who I thought would work. They then became my therapist for the next seven months. I can confidently say I wouldn’t have found that person without the resources NEDIC laid right in front of my eyes.”
“While undergoing the journey with my mental illnesses, I became very fond of holding something soft or tactile in my hands, to feel grounded while living through the moments which presented an increase in discomfort. Through treatment, I realized how impactful it would be to have two aspects come into the production of one – comfort and connection.”
“Pure Balanxed was born, and in December of 2018, the products came to life! From the outside looking in it may look like a simple piece of clothing but its more than that to the person wearing it. Each piece of clothing is specialized with the pxb “affirmation tag”. With Pure Balanxed apparel, you are provided with a small piece of comfort at any given time, and it’s always at the tip of your fingers. It’s a reminder to stop, slow down, read the message, repeat it to yourself and believe it.”
“Three words that spoke to me were “I am strong.” I kept these words close to my heart and soul as I went through treatment for my eating disorder almost a year ago. I found comfort and strength seeing and repeating these words to myself through the moments when I felt I needed it the most.”
“It is these three words you will find on each piece of clothing when you flip the tag over. In that moment you are able to step into those thoughts and feel empowered at the same time.”
“Pure Balanxed is my way of sharing my story. It’s my way of helping others through their dark spots in life. With the connection that the PXB clothing has, as well as the community it is building, this is my way of living my purpose. I always knew that I could help others by sharing my story but I also wanted to give back at the same time. Pure Balanxed is partnered with NEDIC. “
“I was so honored when I called up NEDIC to tell them about my idea. They were so inviting and supportive of my story. I always had the goal of someday giving back to an organization that helped put me on the path of recovery. This is more than a partnership, this is someone’s hope. It is the light someone needs in their darkness, helping someone find that help, as I did. Pure Balanxed is partnered with NEDIC. This is a movement, and I am so thankful I get to share it with anyone who finds this article.”
“This program is something that wasn’t available to me two years ago, so I was absolutely on board to help fund this amazing support program. With their Direct Client Support Program, anyone is able to go to their site and use their online chat, where you can look for support, ask for advice on information or treatment options and most importantly not feel so alone!”
“What I find so special about this is that ANYONE can get on the chat. You don’t have to be the one suffering from an eating disorder. Perhaps you are a parent, sibling, or friend of someone who is, and you need someone to talk to or seek advice from. NEDIC makes their knowledge and support available to you for free.”
“Not only do they have the online chat available but, they also have the NEDIC Helpline which is a toll-free helpline anyone can call during their hours of operation, visit the website to see when it is available.”
“With every sale of my Pure Balanxed products, 5% of net proceeds will go directly to NEDIC to help fund the services they offer. By purchasing Pure Balanxed you are not only finding a piece of comfort and connection for yourself, you are also helping someone else at the same time!”
“Pure Balanxed is my way of sharing my story, it’s my way of helping others through their dark spots in life. With the connection that the PXB clothing has as well as the community it is building, this is my way of living my purpose.”
Allie is the Founder and Owner of the lifestyle brand Pure Balanxed. Through her lifetime she has had various roles and has always come back to the passion of working for herself and running her own business. Her journey of being an athlete and battling mental illness drove her to find her true passion in life; Pure Balanxed. Through a clothing brand created to provide comfort and empowerment to everyone who wears it, her mission is strong and only beginning. Join the PXB community by visiting www.purebalanxed.com , following on both Instagram and Facebook @purebalanxed and being on the lookout for PXB live shopping events.
I am honoured to share Allie’s story. While I struggled with my mental health after my first baby, my story is nowhere near as inspiring as this one. And being a local entrepreneur, I feel a kinship with Allie as well.
May is Mental Health Month in the United States. Canada devotes a week in May to the cause as well. This story came to me at the perfect time. If you struggle with your mental health, reach out! Get the help you need and lean on others when you need to.
Look after yourself!
*This post is not sponsored content. I was gifted a t-shirt as a thank you.