When I decided to write about my experience with mental illness I didn’t really have in mind how much or how often I would share my thoughts. It was a case of have a go and see where it led. What I definitely hadn’t given consideration to was what, and if, to write when I am not feeling so great.

Part of the exercise was about being honest about the experience, and it goes without saying that a big part of most mental illness is not feeling too good about yourself. So it figures that when things are a bit of a shitshow that I should still write about it, otherwise I am not really expressing the full gamut of what it’s like.

This leaves me with a dilemma – on the one hand I do want to be honest about the experience, on the other I don’t want to come across as complaining or self-pitying. Bad times are just the way it goes, and I have to find a way to talk about that.

The other aspect is that shame is one of the things you commonly find in the big party bag that is mental illness, and as anyone who has dealt with the aformentioned will know, when shame is rearing its head the last thing you want is the attention of other people.

I’m not there yet but I hope that over time I can find a way to write about the uncomfortable stuff in a way that I am as comfortable with as I can be. If that makes sense…

3 thoughts on “

  1. As Patrick Rhone so often reminds me, we tend to not do things when we actually really need them most, when it is difficult.

    It is possible to write about the down times without being seen as complaining. Hell, even if we do complain we should still do it, explore what we are feeling both to help ourselves understand and to help others.

    The only way we will completely break the stigma is to be as open and honest as possible.

    Mental health awareness has come on in leaps and bounds recently but, for many, that’s still all it is: an awareness. We need to convert that into an understanding.

    Good luck.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I find the process of articulating my mental health journey helpful, although finding ways to open up is not easy. I like your comparison between awareness and understanding – thats an idea that makes food for thought.

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