Monday, 23 June 2014

It started with a whisper...

Over the past year I have started speaking out about my mental health experiences and sharing my story.
It hasn't been an easy story to share, but as I write my seventh blog post I feel that I should explain why I am choosing now to become a voice in this area.

Why am I speaking out?

Sharing my story has been 4 years in the making.
Following my diagnosis, and for a long time afterwards, I was hurting. If I ever spoke about my Depression it was with anger, hate, and blame. It was something that I couldn't accept, something I still didn't understand. Through therapy I began to come to terms with my illness. I started to make discoveries about myself, who I was, and particularly about how it's something I have always struggled. Sharing my story with my Counselor helped me to understand myself and my Depression. With this new knowledge I became stronger. The anger and hurt subsided with time. While I initially blamed my Depression on other people and how they had treated me, I came to see it as my own personal issue. It also became a positive; something that was always within me, and was just brought to the surface by a trigger. But something that I could learn and grow from.

Similarly, sharing my experiences in a public forum has been therapeutic. My blog provides a way for me to continue cataloging my journey while I am no longer in therapy. As I face life post-college I wanted a project to give me some focus and structure. I've always been passionate about writing, but writing about something that could also help me at the same time and I was sold.
But more than that, I can give mental illness a voice; making it normal by providing a face that (hopefully) people can relate to. By showing how I've gotten through the past few years I hope that it will make more people comfortable to ask for help, help them understand what mental illness can be like, and that you can come through it.
In the past month since I have started this blog I have had such a great and positive reaction from readers who have been inspired to open up to me about their experiences, or to ask for help.

It started with a whisper...

When I decided to start my blog I didn't plan for it to become a mental health blog. I had hoped to blog about my life more generally and document my crafting. But it really has taken off down a road that I didn't expect (but am really happy with) due to the reaction I have had.
I was never a confident, outspoken, or even vocal person. But mental health has given ME a voice, and hopefully I am giving it one in return.
Talking about my mental health has become something bigger than me.

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