Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Highlight of My Health Activist Journey

HAWMC Day 20:  What has been the highlight of your health activist journey? We want to hear all about it, perhaps a conference, a podcast or meeting a fellow HA.  What made this experience so special?

Well, guys, I haven't exactly made the big time. One day, but not yet. I DO want to meet my other HAs! That's is a major goal of mine. Another major goal is to start attending conferences (suggestions for your favorites, anyone?), and one day to maybe even speak (on a panel to a small group?) at one. But right now, I don't have one single experience that I could call a top highlight. What I do have, is a bunch of small, collective experiences. Those experiences happen each time someone messages me or comments or somehow directly contacts me and tells me how I've helped them. They happen when someone I've known for years that I never knew struggled tells me their story, and says how I've helped them. When someone I've never met emails me or friends me on Facebook with a private message about how they've read my blog and they struggle too and would like to connect. Obviously, this is not a highlight because they struggle. It's a highlight because my efforts - my blogs, posts, tweets, events I'm involved in - make them feel comfortable enough to share with me what they've silently been battling. So often I hear from them that they felt so alone, and that reading my posts reminds them that they are not. 

Through my efforts, and through these people who reach out, I've been able to build up a strong mental health community, including my closed Facebook Mood Disorder Support group. These people who are courageous enough to reach out and share their stories and help others are incredible. The fact that my blogging and sharing and starting the group opened the door to this makes me feel like the efforts are all worth it.  Those are the moments that all add up, making the highlight of my mental health journey, one person at a time, one connection at a time, one story at a time. And to me, that's what it's really all about. 

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