It has been several months of this little experiment of mine. Several months of trying to tell the story of the demons I struggle with, the demons that are my mental illness. When I started being this open about my struggles, I thought people would turn away, or not be interested. When I had bad days where I had to admit my depression had come back, days I couldn’t stand to leave the house, I thought people would see me as weak. Yet people are surprising.
I have been amazed at some of the comments I’ve gotten on the blog, on my social media feeds, and in private messages. People who have said they’ve struggled with this or something similar as well. People who’ve been supportive, even on the darkest days. People who have been able to identify with my words because they’ve been trapped in the darkness too. They’ve been trapped by the stigma surrounding mental illness. But people are starting to talk. There are whispers in the dark, reaching out and reminding those of us who struggle that we are not alone.
Because the biggest benefit these types of comments have will be for the people who still feel stuck. Because since I’ve started this blog I’ve also heard from people who have been afraid to seek help because of the stigma. And when they see the comments, the people stepping up to say, ‘I’ve been there too,’ maybe those people will feel emboldened. Maybe today will be the day they open up to a friend or family member about their struggles. Maybe it is the day they call a therapist and make an appointment.
Because I didn’t start this blog just because I like to hear myself talk or because I want validation. I started this so that people could know they are not alone. So that people could know that it is okay to not be okay. And hopefully these whispers will turn into roars and the day will come when we finally end the stigma.
P.S. – Along the lines of turning a whisper into a roar, if anyone wants their story shared here, please feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com or through any of my social media feeds, which are linked through the follow tab, above. I will of course take every step to ensure the confidentiality of anyone not ready to share openly.
Sorry, one more P.S. – I definitely do not say this enough, but thank you to everyone for who has visited this site and been supportive of it. Your support makes my struggles with writers block worth it.
Okay, last P.S. I swear – If you know anyone who you think would benefit from this site, please share it with them to spread the message as far as possible. Given that 1 in 4 people will suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in their life, chances are you do know someone.
Okay, that is it. Now I’m done.