Justyn’s Story

My journey with discovering self love and understanding my mental health came at 22, when I decided I wanted to make a change to how I was feeling about myself, in particular with my body. When I was a toddler I was involved in a home accident where I pulled boiling hot water over my body, which resulted in me becoming a third degree burn survivor.

As most of my burn scars are not visible I have always been able to hide them from others and the scar that is visible I have always been discreet with it’s placement.

So growing up at school, I was never picked on or bullied for being ‘different’ or having anything ‘wrong’ with me but the more I grew up and in quieter moments alone looking at my body, I would often think ‘am I enough’ or ‘what would people say’. These thoughts at times led me to dark places.

The pivotal moment for me was when I was working in a film production company and desperately looking for a story to tell and direct, as filmmaking is my passion and skill I thought “why not tell mine”. I was about to embark on this journey of self discovery and change and I thought it would be so incredible not only for myself but others to see what this is going to look like – so I began researching, working out and learning about mental health and self love care. I documented a bit of the journey via a vlog as part of a competition, which I went onto to win an award for and it was such a catalyst for so many opportunities and people who I never would have been blessed to meet.

The journey has been wild and incredible, yet I was aware I have entered into a domain of sharing my vulnerability that came with it’s own issues and struggles. One of the biggest misconceptions is that I am fully comfortable always sharing and being in front of the camera, which isn’t true. I have massive anxiety about many things and it never gets easier, but I always remember who I am doing this for, my purpose and what effect it will have on other survivors/ thrivers and giving others strength also.

I view mental health as a scale and everyday we must do things to find that balance. It’s ok for the scale to be off sometimes, it could signal a need for rest, a break, some more self love or many things that can positively reinforce you. I believe in the power of change. No negative thought is final and no destination either, we are constantly evolving. 

Finally, defining who I am, what I stand for and how I want to live this one life is most important!

You can find out more about Justyn’s work over on his instagram


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