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  • Rob Lawrence

Guest Writer - The Power Of Owning Your Story- Empowering Vulnerability


blog post image about the importance of owning your story

 

Discover the transformative power of sharing your story, embracing your whole self, and breaking free from generational trauma. In this blog, we explore the profound impact these processes can have on personal growth and healing.

 

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Is mental health A universal concept?


That answer became a little clearer to me last week when a writer reached out to me asking if he could share his message on my blog..... I was happy too.


Bryce Seto


Bryce Seto (he/him/his) is a writer, actor, revenue executive, and mental health advocate. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, he has a mission to utilize the power of storytelling to combat mental illness and normalize the stigma of vulnerability among men and within Asian communities. He is the father of two daughters and is currently completing his MBA at Ivey Business School.



Bryce Seto

In this blog, Bryce is going to share his thoughts on empowering vulnerability and the importance of being authentic and owning your life. He talks about the shame he felt dealing with mental illness and how he had to fight cultural pressures to be silent.



For me, reading his story was a real insight into how other cultures see mental illness and its treatment.... Enjoy 😊




 

Telling My Story


I could hear the rain trick-trick-trickling on the roof of the garage.


I set up my laptop, and hot-spotted internet from my phone. It was the best I could do, given the circumstances. Mina was inside with our screaming kids, and I never could miss a therapy session.


The opposite action, right?


I opened up my Zoom. She was already there, right on time as always. Smiles. Pleasantries. Quite the weather, eh?


“Okay, you ready?” She never let me avoid it for too long. “Just like last time. Dive in.”


Deep breathe. I could hear a squirrel scattering above me now on the tin roof.


“Okay, so I remember I was…”


I began pulling from my memory, patching together whatever events, images, or feelings I could access.



We did that for eight weeks in a row. I sat there talking into my Zoom screen from my garage, bedroom, or car — anywhere I could have privacy during COVID and I told my most shameful and traumatic story, one I’ve told to almost nobody.


struggling to open up


We’d log in once a week and I’d tell it.


The same memory.


The same story.


Over and over and over again.


At first, I thought my therapist was insane. How could talking about something terrible that happened in the past have any impact on the present? It was history. I had moved on. I was across the country and had my own family, my own life.


What was the point?


But I trusted her. We worked together for months now, and her techniques were helping, so I figured why not. I was struggling with feeling vulnerable and managing my insecurities, and, at the very least, this was a safe environment to try something new.


And then something surprising happened.



boom


What started as a hard, nearly impossible, tale to tell, eventually became easier. Each time I told it I had a better handle on the words. The lump in my throat softened. I had more ownership of it.


I had more ownership of myself.


I became more me. It was almost like I had been living someone else’s story all this time. And when I told my own story, that was truly only mine, I became me. When I stood in my truth as myself, I became more present.


I got my power back.


Our Untold Stories Own Us empowering vulnerability



quote about our life story


When we hide from our stories, or pretend our struggle doesn’t exist, we give it power. Our struggle owns us. It prevents us from being able to access our whole selves, to be fully present in the world through our work, art, and relationships.


Denying our stories continues the legacy of generational trauma. We hide in the same shame. We tell the same lies. We make the same mistakes.


This is very prevalent in many cultures. It is in mine. Chinese culture is about honour and respect. It’s about avoiding anything that could bring shame to your family. It’s about denying instead of feeling.





Ever since I could remember I was trained to deny my story. I wasn’t allowed to be sad. Or scared. Or vulnerable. I had to man up, be strong for my little brother, don’t show any sign of weakness. I was never given the chance to be able to tell my story. My real story. I was forced to tell a version of a story that wasn’t really mine. The one that was heavily edited to erase anything shameful.



shhhhh


Like I’m sure most parents do, Mina and I talk a lot about how we should raise our daughters. As our kids grow older, we realize that most stuff you stressed about when they were babies become trivial. Yeah, they probably eat too many GMOs and have too much screen time and probably co-sleep in our bed too much. But the one thing that’s always been important to us is their psychological safety to feel and explore their emotions wholeheartedly, and for us to do everything we can to not pass down generational trauma that we’ve endured from our families.


More than anything, that’s been my motivation. That’s why I would sit in my dusty-ass garage and repeat my awful story. I needed to own my whole story to take back my ownership.


Because if I truly wanted to write a new story for myself and my family, I needed to stop hiding from my old one.

 

Final Thoughts

blogger final thouhts

I loved this and I loved his message..... It doesn't matter who you are, where you are or who you're surrounded by, mental health touches everyone.


As always I hope you enjoyed the blog and if it helps anyone take back control of their life it's a job well done.


I would love to hear your stories, so feel free to leave your comments, questions and feedback below.


(Ps) Why not go check Bryce out and show him some love..... I've left his socials below.



 

More More More


If you want to check out more mental health coping strategies I've listed some really good places you can start with.


This Is My Brave is an organization dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health by providing a platform for individuals to share their personal stories.


The Unmasked Project The Unmasked Project is an online platform that allows individuals to anonymously share their mental health stories. It provides a safe and supportive space for people to express their experiences, challenges, and triumphs.


 

If you're interested in learning more about how important Authenticity and Acceptance are OR you want to hear more about Bryce Seto you can use the Google search engine below to explore different resources that can help you deepen your understanding of the coping mechanisms out there.



 


References




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               Why Listen To Me?
 
(The short answer is I don't know)

You know, if you had asked me a decade ago where life was taking me, I wouldn't have had a clue. Back then, I was right in the middle of a rough patch—a mental health breakdown that seemed to be wrecking every part of my life.

But hey, fast forward to now, as I'm edging into my early forties, things have done a complete 180. What used to be a mess of struggles has turned into a journey of finding peace, purpose, and meaning in my mental health recovery.

These days, you'll find me in Manchester, living and working, using the chaos of my past to help others untangle their minds. If that sounds like something you're into, well, maybe this blog could be just what you're looking for. Come along as I share stories, insights, and lessons learned on the rollercoaster ride from rock bottom to resilience.

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