“What made you decide to talk about your mental health so openly?” “How do you feel so comfortable doing so?” “Why did you chose to do this so publicly?” These are a few of the most commonly asked questions I get regarding blogging about my mental health.
The truth is because of the stigma. The stigma that still so heavily lingers behind mental health. Suffering from mental illness or even having ones you love suffer from it is extremely painful. The one thing that significantly makes these things more painful is being misunderstood or judged. Having society look at you as if you’re crazy when you have little to no control over the chemicals you’re lacking in your brain. It’s getting the silent treatment when you’ve finally worked up the courage to say you’re suicidal. It’s being called overdramatic and crazy on the regular. It’s being so terrified to open up for fear of being judged. It’s feeling completely isolated as a result.
I’ve finally gotten to a place where I don’t care anymore what others think of me. I don’t give a fuck if someone judges me for having mental health issues. If they judge it they probably lack the ability to understand it or they project their fears of the unknown and different. I don’t own that, they do. I truly think the stigma comes from a fear of the unknown and a misunderstanding of what mental illness is. It’s a known fact that people judge what they don’t understand. This is why I will continue to fight for the advocacy of mental health. Until there are more people who understand the depth of mental illness. Until mental health is treated the same as physical health. Until mental health care doesn’t cost a fortune. Until businesses accept their employees taking mental health days without judgement. Until we can speak about these issues without shame. We have come so far with accepting physical disabilities, but still struggle to talk about the details of suicidal thoughts and self harm.
My goal with being so transparent is to alleviate some of the isolation people suffering from mental illness feel. My first priority will always be them. My second reason is to shed light, information and an in-depth understanding of what it feels like to suffer from chronic mental illness’s. I want people to understand that these illness’s cause me to function differently in my every day life. That my relationships with others look different as a result. That as blessed as I am, I still suffer from depression. That despite having SO much to live for I have been suicidal. That as much as I love myself, I still struggle with my image because of the scars I have from self harm.
This is why I fight. This is why I’m transparent about my struggles. To normalize struggling and pain. To remind everyone that it’s okay not to be okay! Life was never designed to be perfect. It’s okay to admit that you’re not. This is also why I’ve chosen to open up about my abusive childhood. So people can recognize trauma, abuse and understand that is where so many mental illness’s stem from. So let’s break this stigma together. Speak openly about therapy if you attend or inquire about it if you’re interested in going. Do mental health check in’s with the ones you love. Correct individuals when you hear them using words like bipolar as an expression outside of its originated meaning. Watch the way you speak about people who are brave enough to take mental health days. Show up with empathy and an open mind when people are discussing mental health related issues. Practice non judgmental thoughts and words when hearing topics you don’t understand or can’t relate to. Ask questions. Be kind. You have no idea the depth in which some people are suffering.
Thank you for reading,