It’s been 13 months nearly to the day since I left a mental health facility in the city where I live. In that time, I truly have seen my whole life and world change. At the beginning, it was a case of things about me changing: my perceptions of the world, and my perceptions of me, and how I felt about people and things around me. Over the last six to nine months though, it’s evolved from being changes related to me to changes related to thinking about how I can be a voice for the silent among us who suffer as I do.
There are so many among us who suffer from some form of mental illness, and they do so silently.
I have found that as I’ve changed my perspective, it’s freed me from concerns and worries about what I “have” or who I am. The skies have turned blue. By acknowledging that I am like so many other people out there who suffer like I do, or worse, it’s allowed me to think outside of myself and shift focus for what I can do to others.
So – I am now officially rededicating this blog to the idea of advocacy. All I can do is talk. I don’t have lots of money, or a degree where that makes me an expert – but I’ve got experience. I’ve suffered, and felt emotions across the spectrum, and made it through what – I hope – is the worst of the worst. I can talk about how I got through, or rather – how I get through. I can talk about what I’ve done to be the best version of me for my family. I can talk about how I’ve taken this challenge and used it for my betterment professionally.
What I want this to be for anyone who may read these words, is a place for people to feel like they can share who they are. The idea of talking about mental health when it applies to you is scary as hell, don’t get me wrong. But know that it doesn’t define who you are.
Yes, I have bipolar disorder and struggle with anxiety.
No, it doesn’t mean I’m less of a person.
It means I see the world in brighter colors, and sharper images and understand things that I never would have dreamed about otherwise.
It means I get to survive, in living color with bright beautiful blue skies.