Why do I write about my mental illness?
As I said in my last post, some of you may be wondering why I have chosen to write and then go a step further and publish publicly my personal journey of living with a mental health issue. That is a very good question as I could have easily continued my journey privately.
Writing for therapy
Writing is very therapeutic for me. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am thinking until I write it down.
However if it was just therapeutic I could keep all these words password protected in a private journal. Why share this publicly?
Writing keeps me accountable
When I put fingers to keyboard (I rarely use pen and paper) I find I have to get real with myself. I don’t hide behind a smile or task or food but rather focus on where the words flow, how they make me feel and in most cases the writing gives me clarity. I do not write all my thoughts, for as well as getting censored there are some things not even I want to share with the world.
Writing about depression and anxiety is difficult. It is challenging enough to confront the black dog each day bit to see the experience in words can be very confronting. But because the challenge is so real
There is much more public awareness about mental health issues than there used to be and we hope far more acceptance, understanding and support as well. In my experience however having a mental health issue still has a strong degree of negativity, a stigma attached than a physical health issue.
Writing to reduce the stigma
I write about my journey, my life in an effort to help reduce the stigma of mental health. I write to demonstrate that despite depression and anxiety I can work, maintain healthy relationships and contribute to society.
My hope is that by writing about my experience of mental illness I could possibly help someone else. Even as a health professional working in a health care setting I found disclosure and asking for help from my employer confronting, embarrassing and awkward. So if I, as an educated healthcare professional found it hard I figure so too must a number of others.
Mental illness is common and does not discriminate age, gender, social circumstances, race or religion.
While we are all individuals with our own unique set of circumstances, experiences and beliefs essentially we are more alike that we may sometimes think. While my writing describes my experience into a context one may not relate to there are also significant similarities. I write because I believe people in this world are more alike than they are different.
I write to connect.
The response and support I have received from my online posts has been wonderful. Heartfelt comments of empathy, support, and tales of “ME TOO!” from the World Wide Web.
Describing my journey, my experience I share thoughts and feelings that reaches friends and strangers alike. My posts are public. In doing so I hope that through my words I can reach out to readers who may think “Oh, I feel that too” or “Yes” are something resonates with their own experience and help them not feel so alone, flawed, afraid, confused or helpless. If I can stand up and speak out about my experience, get help and heal then so can you or others.
I write to practice.
I have some dreams and visions to write things other than this little blog of mine. You my dear reader are sadly taking on a guinea pig role. I practice my writing voice, the tone and the flow of words. Also I practice my ability to disciplined and committed to write.
While I love to write, once I said I would, my A grade ability to procrastinate came alive. I hope practice make perfect and if not perfect then better.
You can help me.
There are two simple things you can do to help my writing.
- Provide me with any constructive feedback via this blog comment section, email or Facebook.
- Share, share share. The power of social media is great but greatest when the item is shared. While I really appreciate the comments I get and the “likes” on Facebook. My appreciation with bubble over like my grandchildren’s giggles if you Pin, Tweet and Share my blog.