I’ve been debating starting this blog. After all, I talk about my mental health issues on my Facebook, on my Twitter. On my personal blog. On the HuffPo and Stigma Fighters. On rare occasions I even talk about my issues person to person with my Inner Circle. Every single word – whether spoken or typed – is hard. There’s not really an absence of opportunity to process the things that I need to process. My friends, my doctor, my coworkers, my family are pretty darn remarkable. Then there’s the Internet.
If you’ve ever caught up with me anywhere on the Internet or, likely, in real life, or read any of my writing you know I get an immense amount of support from men and women all over the world. Men and women I never would have met without the Internet.
Yes, sometimes the Internet can be very…Internet-y, but for me it’s literally saved my life multiple times.
When I’m so far down feeling I’ll never again see the light it’s some people I’ve met online (in some cases even in real life) who are writing to me saying they love me; that I make their lives better; that somehow we’ll get past whatever the current situation is weighing me down.
You might be wondering why I’ve started this space when my writing about mental health issues is already located in so many places. It’s mostly because over the past month I’ve had a couple posts turned down by the HuffPo. Posts that after I wrote them I felt incredibly proud of them. They discussed topics ranging from my relationship with food to my warm and fuzzy feelings for my doctor. These are both things I feel fall under the “Stronger Together” tag on the Huffington Post.
Stronger Together can’t be something that talks only about our psychological wins, it has to be a tag that addresses ways to get past our tallest psychological hurdles. I couldn’t get past my hurdles without my doctor (who’s amazing) or my friends (who are more amazing). Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to approach my hurdles without my friends, without my doctor.
Moral of this story is that this site isn’t going to be talking just about the victories, but also talking about the struggles. You can’t have one without the other. In order to address the stigma attached to mental health issues we need to be able to actually talk about our mental health issues. Those who don’t suffer these issues need to know it’s not something that can be “fixed.” It’s not something that “goes away.” By seemingly projecting that only posts addressing the victories are allowed it forces us to continue closeting our struggles.
I hope to have victories on here as well, but I want you to know that sometimes? Sometimes it’s going to be my struggles on here. And that needs to be okay.