You can find these shoes in…

Airdrie

They belong to…

27, Canada, Residential Youth Worker, living with boyfriend.

What it’s like to walk in her shoes for a day…

I wake up and think about all I need to do in a day. The worries begin immediately, as I have severe anxiety. But I was raised by my father to get out of bed and get what I need to, done. I start with small worries of if I will look as tired as I feel. It progresses to, I wonder what kind of emotional state I will be in. Will I be triggered by a full clothing hamper? Knowing I can’t complete the task immediately. Will I have a breakdown over the line for my coffee taking too long? Will I worry about my new boyfriend will realise how many worries I’ve had, before my feet have even touched the floor to get out of bed. I get to work, and I worry if there will be confrontations at work with the adolescents I work with. I wonder who I will be working with and if I’ll have to be the nice cop or the bad. Will I have similar views and styles to the person I’m working with? Will I be silenced by adolescents of different upbringing, culture, background… where they don’t respect women in authority? Will I be told today that my role as the woman is to be nurturing when needed, but also quiet and motherly, with no opinions or “nos”? Will I be forced to confront teenagers that look down to me because of my gender? It’s not even noon, and the worries overwhelm me.

Growing up in her shoes she was…

The expectations placed on me were to be quiet. Reserved. And to not make a fuss. My problems can always be worse.

Her biggest challenges day-to-day…

Worries. Wanting to laid back and understanding, but also recognising the toll it has on my soul when I have to bite my tongue and act “appropriately” to my gender.

What are the advantages of being a woman in the 21st Century?

An advantage would be having more understanding in communities rather than centuries prior. There is a better chance at me being able to speak up in this day and age rather than the woman who came before me.

Flashbulb memories (s) or what it’s really like to walk in her shoes…

Memories of being told that because I’m a woman, I’m overly sensitive and that my mental health is predominantly associated with my gender.

Things you should know if you’re going to walk in her shoes…

That my gender should define me and my mental health or state. I am a female, and I do have mental health ailments… but they are two separate parts of me.

Anything else we should know?

I’d like to do a similar project to this but exploring the stories of various individuals struggling with their mental health. I truly believe by sharing our struggles through first person narratives, will open the doors for continued growth in understanding mental health from an outsiders view, and an insiders. We can all find comfort in one another.


Hey you, can you relate to Heather’s story? Do you have a favorite quote or thought? Share it in the comments

How about YOUR shoes?

“This is Robbi’s story, it is unique, it is hers and it tells you something about being a woman in the 21st century.

If you identify as a woman, your story is just as important. CLICK HERE to get the questions and be part of our story, history and Her-story.”

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