Friday, August 17, 2012

Putting It Out There

Throughout the course of writing this blog and overseeing the Facebook group, I've had a lot of people reach out to me privately, or in the safety of the group, and discuss things that they've gone through. Sometimes they're seeking advice, sometimes they just need to talk, and sometimes they're offering to support me if I need anything in this journey of transformation that I've understaken. Obviously, those conversations are kept private, but speaking to them generally, I think these individuals are amazing.

I contemplated this blog (in general, not this specific post) and the Facebook group for quite a while before forming them. I wasn't sure that I wanted to "put it all out there". There's a stigma attached to having a "mental health disorder" and I wasn't sure I was ready to face head on those who possessed it.

What I've realized through this process is threefold (is that a word?):

1. People are actually much more accepting than I thought. Maybe they're just fascinated by my unique brain and therefore ask a lot of questions, but I find people genuinely interested in learning about my condition and how my brain works.

2. Way more people have gone through similar situations than I ever anticipated. In fact, through the blog and group, and just my general openness, I've connected with people I probably not have without it. It makes me not feel less alone, and I learn that it does the same for them. As people open up more in the Facebook group, I notice others follow suit. It's nice to feel accepted and not alone.

3. If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best! Truly. If you're going to stigmatize because my brain, which is an organ like any other, doesn't always work perfectly. I wouldn't shy away from you if you had kidney stones, yet you have an issue with my condition. Farewell!

So I encourage you, if you're going through anything from anxiety to panic attacks to depression to mood cycling or any other "mental health" condition to reach out, when you're ready. It obviously doesn't have to be to me, though you're always welcome to. But find someone you're comfortable talking to. You can start slow, and go from there. You might even find that they have been going through something similar and didn't know who to talk to.

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