I started this site a few weeks ago, but other than choosing the color scheme and the name, I’ve done little with it. In some ways this is incredibly fitting because this site is meant to be all about telling our stories about the struggle with depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. And the reason I didn’t do anything for several weeks once starting this page? Anxiety.
Those who don’t struggle with anxiety might confuse my inaction for laziness. I assure you it isn’t. Anxiety, for me at least, is a paralyzing fear that nothing I do would be good enough. I convinced myself that nothing I had to say about my struggles with depression or anxiety were that important. There were surely other people who suffered their mental illness more than I did, other people who were better writers, better storytellers, better whatever than me. They should be the ones doing this blog not me. And so I did nothing with this site, paralyzed by that fear.
But, the small silver lining is that anxiety gave me my first story, the story of why I couldn’t start the blog that I had started. Thanks, anxiety!
The fact of the matter is we all have stories. We all have stories of how we deal with our mental illnesses. Stories not of mental illness triumphing over us, but of our victories over mental illness. Our stories aren’t over, but by telling some of the stories we’ve had so far we can hopefully inspire others to have their own story, their own dark tale of mental illness, and the victories they’ve had over their mental illness. I believe telling those stories will help minimize the power mental illness has over us.
I suspect, especially early on that this page will be mostly my stories, and the stories I find and am given permission to retell. But I sincerely hope this page can be a conversation. I sincerely hope that many of you who have struggled with mental illness yourselves will feel inspired to also come forward and tell your story. Please do, please join me on this, The Dark Tales Project. And thank you for coming along with me.