The reason I’m here at all – mental health advocacy.
It’s easy to have an opinion on something you’ve never experienced. You can sympathetically imagine what it’s like to experience childbirth, obesity, cancer, racial prejudice – but only lived experience truly gives you a window into the world. And even then it’s just your window in your world.
This blog began as an expansion of my very dark and sordid journaling, which began shortly after I entered a psychiatric clinic as an inpatient. So I wouldn’t be able to kill myself. Just so we’re all on the same page here. After much soul searching, researching, denial, professional therapy, pharmaceutical support, failure, success, friendship, love, and the roller-coaster ride of the recovery process, I’m in a much safer place – ready to spread my wings and revisit the real world. I’m hoping to even get a job this year.
Contained within these virtual pages are my stories – old and new – of living with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, self-harm, suicidal ideation – and to some extent (completely self-diagnosed and by no means crippling…) OCD, PTSD, hypervigilance, and a whole pile of other acronyms I’ve now forgotten. Let’s just call it hypochondria. Oh – the one I don’t like. Codependency. I don’t want it to be true. And yet…
Gradually over the course of this year, this blog will branch out into a variety of other things, but the mental health advocacy stories will always be here. They will always be a part of my story – a part of who I am.
If you are experiencing mental health issues – large or small – I hope my words may offer some comfort, insight or support. Please know that I am always willing to listen and have had many different readers reach out over the years. If you have a question, ask.
If you are looking on behalf of someone you know and love, I hope my words offer a window into their world. And always remember that what does and doesn’t work for me, is purely my story. I have found tools that worked brilliantly. And others that were useless. Another person would have the exact opposite experience. Our job is to keep looking until we find the thing that eases the burden just a little. And then to keep looking a little more. If you’re someone’s support person, I hope you probably are the thing that is easing someone’s burden. Connections to the world around us – people, places, past, present, future – that’s what keeps us going.