Name: Jessica Rodarte
City: Los Angeles
Fav thing about your city: There is always something to do, places to go, things to see!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself: I run marathons!
What is your connection to mental illness?
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2016. I never understood what mental illness was until I experienced it for myself. It was very hard to comprehend why something like this happened to me. I lost my appetite, I was losing weight, I was always fatigued, and dealing with insomnia for months thinking it was normal. I was in denial of my condition and didn’t see the big dark deep hole I was falling into. Luckily, I have a great family who supported me when I quit my job to work on getting better. I took that time to heal. I started going to therapy and started antidepressants. Deciding to start medication was the hardest decision I’ve had to make, but at that point in time I knew I couldn’t get better on my own. It’s been a difficult journey. I created my blog BeeingJess.com as an outlet to express myself and share my journey. It has opened so many doors to other people in the world who are fighting the same battle. The mental health community is so beautiful. Knowing I am not fighting this fight alone gives me relief. I try to be involved in as many organizations that I can that promote mental health. Social media has been a great platform for me to share my story. Everyone has a story and every story deserves to be heard.
What does your everyday look like?
My everyday consists of waking up early and going to the gym and then off to work I go! Getting my exercise on early in the morning helps me get through my day. I work at CSUN as a financial coordinator and I have to say I enjoy it very much. After work I come home and relax with my boyfriend and family. How I feel everyday varies- most days I wake up happy to be alive, but I do have those days where it’s incredibly hard to get out of bed and function. I just want to stay in bed and disappear. I have less and less of these negative days, but when they happen I try not to be discouraged. I’ve come a long way and I can’t forget that. Healing is not linear.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to LOVE every inch of herself. Self-love is one of the hardest things to accomplish. It’s so easy to hate yourself. Learning to love who you are and be comfortable in your own skin is so beautiful. I just wish the younger version of me realized this sooner.
Who is a Role Model to you?
My Role Model has to be my grandmother. She is the strongest woman I know. She has lived an extraordinary life. She is 86 years young and full of life. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t remind me that life is a gift. She is full of positivity and happiness despite the loss she has experienced in her life. She is always reminding me to smile which is why I have the word smile in her handwriting tattooed on me.
How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
My Self-Care Sunday is spent doing things that make me the happiest. Self-care is so important! Every Sunday I make sure to do something that I love! My usual Sunday routine consists of attending mass then grabbing my favorite Starbucks drink and enjoying a good book. Not every Self-Care Sunday is the same sometimes I go on hikes, spend time with family or friends, or do a little retail therapy. Self-care has helped tremendously with my over mental and physical health.