Why did I spend two years writing my story of overcoming adversity during a Spirit-centred healing year? It was to share what I learned, yes, but also I needed to show that it IS possible to be gripped by depression – I’m not talking about feeling blue, being sad or in the dumps, I am meaning the deep, dark and debilitating illness that takes over your mind and twists and spirals it down into despair – I needed to show that it IS possible to rise up from that and go on to live a joyful life while managing the illness. That it IS possible to live again, to be happy and productive. I wanted to tell everyone that there is hope.
And I needed to show the world that even while living with a mental illness, I can still be fully competent, inspired, energised, giving, and creative, that I can contribute to the community and be of service to others. All of which goes against the general perception that is filled with stigmas of every type, born of a lack of understanding and fear: the misconception that those with mental illness are not capable, not credible, getting a free ride, complainers, tiresome, get real and get with it, be strong, just focus, too scary to talk about, is it catching?
I wanted to inform people about what depression and generalized anxiety is really about, and that it too is a mental illness. And especially, I wanted to give people hope, to tell them that it IS possible to get well with appropriate treatment and support.
Maybe some of what I learned will help someone. It is a very lonely illness yet so many people experience it. We must learn how to reach out.
Spreading this message is my mission, and I am not alone. Check out NoStigmas.