I can’t tell you how many times I have received a private message on social media from someone saying “I wish I had the confidence to openly talk about my mental illness like you do.” And while it makes me smile because I feel like I’m making a difference, it also makes me frown because I remember the stigma society has placed on mental illness.
It’s almost like mental illness is a taboo topic, one that people are afraid to talk about. Just because I have a mental illness doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. I’m a good person, and the vast majority of those suffering from a mental illness are good people. Society just chooses to see them in another light.
That’s why I’m so open about who I am and the struggles I’ve gone through. I want to help the world see that you can be successful with mental illness, you can be a good person with mental illness. Mental illness doesn’t define who I am, it’s just a small part of what makes us so unique.
We all have quirks and things that make us who we are, and my mental illness is one of those things. I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of the experiences I’ve gone through. They haven’t always been easy, but there’s always been a lesson to be learned.
I want to show those who struggle with their mental illness that there is hope. That your illness won’t stop you from winning. I want to inspire them to want to do and be more. Because nobody should feel ashamed of their illness.
I want to help educate the uneducated. And I don’t say that in a derogatory way, sometimes it truly isn’t a person’s fault that they didn’t understand something. We’re raised and molded as we grow to believe a certain thing. Many people have never stopped to think why are people with mental illness taboo?
The conversation has to start somewhere. I intend to start that conversation wherever and whenever I can. The more people I can reach and the more people that hear my message, the more change we can see in the world.
I’ve lived my life by the mantra ‘If I make one person smile or laugh a day, I’ve had a good day.’ I want to help people and see them smile. I want to make a difference and create a better future for my kids one day because, let’s be honest, the chances of my kids having a mental illness are high.