Hi, my name is Justin Bernardez and I am a singer/artist from Los Angeles, California. Anxiety and Depression were two things I had only heard about, but never something I thought I would personally experience. My mental health journey started after a breakup that left me in pieces. Finding the strength to wake up was a battle, I had no motivation to eat, go outside, create music and truthfully, I felt hopeless in all aspects of my life. After reflecting heavily, I knew that I needed to start my healing journey. Additionally, I knew that I had a purpose and as hard as it was, the first step was to try. I prioritized reading, journaling, meditating and therapy as the first ways to get myself back on track. I used music and my voice to talk about my experiences and the constant state of overthinking and anxiety that I was in.
Although it was extremely scary, I took my feelings to social media and expressed the state of my mental health to everyone that supported me. I was absolutely terrified, but I knew that being vulnerable was what I needed to do and that I needed to be honest with myself. I have lost many friends to suicide, and something I've learned is that many of my friends felt alone and that they didn't have a support system. After reading the comments, there was more support than I could have ever imagined. So much support that I broke down and cried because I couldn't believe that people even cared about me beyond the videos I create. Positivity surrounded me, and I was reminded that I wasn't alone, despite how I personally felt. It was then where I decided to go all-in and dive deep into my healing journey and express my feelings creatively through music.
Although I am still healing, I am so proud of myself and where I am in my journey. I'm able to see the purpose of life again, smiling more than ever, and being grateful for every experience in life.
With my EP being titled Healing (to be released on April 22), I am hoping to bring awareness to mental health through music. Additionally, I am going to be releasing a shirt that says "You are not alone", to remind people that they are loved and cared for, even in the darkest moments. The message and resources that AADA provides truly hold a special place in my heart, and I will be donating 100% of the proceeds to ADDA. I am so appreciative that ADAA has resources to help educate as well as bring awareness to mental health.
Throughout my healing journey, I have learned to love myself and to prioritize my self-care and mental health. Every day we have the choice to lift someone up, and although healing can be lonely and tough, I hope my story can inspire others to do the same.
Tik Tok: @justinbernardez_
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