Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of depression and suicide.
Maureen Wroblewitz shared her past struggles with her mental health, while also reminding everyone to “be kind” and to “check on your friends and family.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the model and former beauty queen raised awareness for sucidal prevention month, baring that she thought of ending her life when she was 13.
The incident, she said, followed the death of her mother wherein she had challenges facing “life’s difficulties soon after.”
“This girl that you see smiling and posing in front of the camera was thinking of all the easiest ways to end her life just a few months prior,” she wrote. In the post, she shared photos of her young self and a screenshot of her fashion blog over a decade ago.
“If it wasn’t for her little sister finding her in a vulnerable situation and telling her parents about it, I don’t know if I would be here today,” she recalled.
“After losing my mom at the of 11 and experiencing more of life’s difficulties soon after, I had slowly started losing faith in myself. I was fighting my inner demons alone because I chose to suffer in silence,” she continued.
“I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems, but I also was too ashamed of them. I knew something was wrong, but I wanted to hide that for as long as I could. It wasn’t until one blurry night that suddenly I was exposed.”
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She shared it was her parents who encouraged her to see a therapist, which she did. Apart from that, she was able to slowly get out of that chapter of her life after reading the book Life Without Limits by inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic gifted to her by her dad.
“Nick’s story had made me realize that at just 13, I hadn't even seen the world yet,” she said.
The 25-year-old model furthered: “From then on, I knew I had to make my dreams a reality, I knew I couldn’t hide in my darkness forever. I was convinced that telling my story was my purpose and that I had to work hard so I could become someone I'm proud of.”
A few months after having a life-changing mindset, she decided to start her fashion blog. Little did she know, it was also the start of something bigger.
“A year later, I got discovered by my now momager on Instagram and [three] years after that, I was living my dreams in the Philippines,” she recalled.
Aside from finding her purpose with her passion for fashion, Maureen said that she hopes her story would help others experiencing the same dilemma.
“I have always wanted to share more about my mental health struggles, but I never knew how. I now understand that the best way is to just do it, to speak my truth and people will listen,” she said.
“I believe that even if I get to help just one person by sharing my story, I have done something right. Depression is still a constant battle for me but I am no longer afraid to ask for help,” she added, noting that she's still receiving medical help from her therapist every month and emotional support from her family and boyfriend.
“I can now say that I'm extremely proud of myself, not just for all my achievements but for having found the strength to fight for what I believed in. I'm glad I didn’t give up on myself. I now know that I am truly meant for something bigger,” she said.
“This is a reminder to check on your friends and family. Most people suffer in silence and depression is usually hidden behind smiles and laughter,” she stressed. “Remember to always be kind because you never know what someone is going through.”
She also opened up about her struggles with mental health in 2021.
“To whoever needs to hear this right now, know that you are not battling this alone. I wish I knew that when I was suffering from depression and anxiety (I still do). I wish I knew that all my feelings are valid,” she added.
Maureen was hailed the winner of Asia’s Next Top Model in 2017, the first Filipina to achieve the feat. She also joined her first beauty pageant in 2021, where she finished as Miss Universe Philippines 1st runner-up.
If you think you, your friend, or your family member is considering self-harm or suicide, you may call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518 or 0917-899-USAP (8727) for Globe/TM users, or 0908-639-2672 for Smart users.