We all have stories. Our whole anthology of stories paint the picture of our lives. And for those of us who battle the demons of mental illness, there are plenty of dark tales mixed in with those stories.
It isn’t our fault. Although we are the protagonists in our own stories, we do not choose the road that leads to these dark tales. It is chosen for us. Yet like any protagonist, we can choose how we respond to these challenges. And we can choose whether we share our story.
Stories can help build community. And the dark tales of mental illness are the stories that remind us that we aren’t alone. We aren’t alone in the dark. We aren’t alone in our battle with demons who seemed determined to bring us down. Despite the isolation that mental illness likes to wield, we aren’t alone. And stories remind us of that in such a powerful way.
I found this first when I started following certain authors and podcasters who are open about their journey with mental illness. I discovered this again once I started this site. And most recently I have seen the power of stories by sharing my own story with others as a recovery support specialist, using my lived experience to help others out of their crisis.
And I love stories. I love the shiny tales that exist outside of the darkness of mental illness, but I also appreciate the value of the dark tales that those of us who battle our own demons carry with us. I value whenever someone chooses to share their story for the first time.
Because if there is one thing that all of these stories have demonstrated, it is that we are never alone.
So thanks for sharing in my story. Thanks for sharing yours if you have done so. And wherever you are, may your story this self-care weekend be a positive one.