Last year around this time, I took a pledge to write about mental health. I made good on that pledge by writing fifteen posts under that tag, though two of them were written in January 2015, so I’m already ahead of the curve. Thirteen out of 314 posts written last year doesn’t seem like a lot, but as it says on blogformentalhealth.com, “A little can go a very long way in the fight to raise awareness, educate, show support, and eradicate stigma.”
Honestly, I thought there would be more posts on mental health than that, but even here at FOG, where I let all my dirty laundry hang out for you to see, it seems that mental health is a topic I don’t write about enough.
For those of you who are new in the fishbowl, I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
For more information, I’ve written about each of them individually at the links above or you could just surf the Mental Health tag.
Some of my disorders could be genetic, but some are the result of child sexual abuse at the hands of a sadistic pedophile when I was seven, which led me down a path to drug addiction, homelessness, prostitution and just generally not caring one whit whether I lived or died.
In the past, I’ve also struggled with anorexia, self-harm, and lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot more Generalized Anxiety Disorder panic attacks, which are not super fun.
I have a full boat of mental illnesses and they will never go away; they can only be managed. I deal with them through medication, therapy (when I could afford it–I’m hoping to be able to afford it again soon), humor and this blog.
I am not shy about talking about it. I try to erase the stigma as much as possible with words. I try to give some insight to those of you who have no experience with mental illness (bless your little hearts) and kindly explain what you get wrong about it.
As soon as I listed off my peccadilloes above, I’m sure at least some of you made a judgment about me. Without even meaning to, some of you formed an opinion about the type of person I must be to have a past like mine and have the mental illnesses I have. You summarily decided, even subconsciously, that I’m not right in the head, and well, I’m not, but not necessarily in the way you think.
That instant subconscious judgment is what we’re trying to fix with projects like Blog For Mental Health. I want you to keep an open mind, so that you may know what it’s really like. I want you to understand that this is not something we can control. We have no choice in the matter. If we did, I can guarantee you that we’d prefer not to live with any of this.
All I can do is share my experiences with you toward that end. So, I’m taking the pledge again this year and I’m hoping to double my numbers.
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Thanks for listening. Please, spread the word or take the pledge yourself.