I just happened to be on the NAMI ( National Alliance of Mental health) website and I saw a section where people could share their stories in 800 words or less ( Only 800 words, come on!) This is what I am going to submit. I think it is short sweet and to the point. What do you think?
I refuse to stay silent about mental health and how it affects me. I was paralyzed by the stigma all of my life I started speaking out and talking my depression/anxiety openly online. Through my writing I have been able to reach so many people. I remember when I first started sharing, I heard “You are not alone” and it was such a powerful statement because I had felt so alone all my life, I felt ostracized and made to feel that my mental illness made me inferior to others. “You are not alone” soon became my motto. When I share my struggles and my story, not only do I get the support and love I need but someone else is helped as well by reading my words, it’s a powerful feeling to go from feeling stigmatized, mocked, alone and helpless to finally being a voice for others and getting support back as a result, it’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I have a mission through my writing to break the stigma of mental health and I have to face my own fears and anxieties about sharing my struggles. How much should I share? Am I sharing too much? What are my friends and loved ones going to think about me being so open? Will they judge me? Well so far, the amount of positive support poured in has been more than I ever could imagined. So, for anyone afraid of speaking out about mental health, there are so many people who need to hear your voice, you have no idea the people you’ll be able to reach by sharing your story. Even if you don’t get a response or feedback, people are listening and taking what you say to heart. Don’t be silenced, be a voice for the voiceless. And never be afraid to ask for help. My name is Dave and I am mental health/disability advocate, a writer and one determined person, I won’t give up and neither should you. I am honored to be an advocate and hope to reach as many people as I can. I would like to get involved with NAMI somehow and I guess this is a good start!