Today is World Mental Health Day and given that this is one of my passions and something that affects me directly, I couldn’t not post. For me, the purpose of WMHD is not only to raise awareness of mental illness and to beat the stigma surrounding it in doing so, but also to take a step back for a moment and celebrate the things that we’ve achieved. So, all those who suffer with a mental illness, this one’s for you.
For quite a long time I genuinely believed that in general, people are shit and the world is a pretty nasty place. Now, I have been shown that ok, there are some horrid people in this world and yes, bad things do happen to good people, but there are some bloody wonderful people around too. The success of #TalkMH and support offered by every person involved taught me this and I will always be grateful. If you take part in the chat and come back week after week to share your support, stories and kind words, you have given me something that I will never forget. I just wish I could give it back. Each week I am overwhelmed with joy, support and love – all things that, at one point, I thought I’d lost and would never get back – and quite simply, you are helping me to get myself back. For this reason I am glad that I’ve faced the battles I’ve faced over the last couple of years because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know any of these people, #TalkMH would never have happened and to be honest, my blog would probably have never happened either.
Whilst possessed by mental illness we are often forced to believe that we have no choice. No choice in who we are; no choice in the way that we behave; no choice in the future; no choice but to feel this way indefinitely. To those who suffer daily, those that read my blog and, indeed, myself, we all have a choice. Each day I wake up and think of you. I think of those who suffer in silence as well as those who shout it from the rooftops but, ultimately, I think of the choice to continue. I made that choice. I remind myself of the progress that I have already made and the progress that will be made in the months to come. Let this be a reminder for not only me, but you, that you have a choice. Never forget that the person you will be in five, ten, twenty years time is because of what’s happening to you right now and you will look back with pride at the progress that you’ve made. Every day is a step closer.