When I learned of the Blog for Mental Health pledge last year, I thought, “Perfect! This is exactly what I intended my blog to be!” I’m so excited that I get to take the pledge again; it seems like an awesome way to begin 2014.
So, without further ado:
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
I’ve been writing about my experiences with mental health – particularly coping with anxious depression – all year. The biggest trend I’ve noticed is a movement away from viewing my mental illness as something separate from myself that I must fight against, and toward accepting it as part of who I am.
This isn’t to say that I allow myself to be defined by my anxious depression and give up on my goals, relationships, and responsibilities – though I will admit it is sometimes tempting to do so. Rather, it allows me to have a more consistent experience of reality, despite fluctuations in the severity of my symptoms. These fluctuations can be drastic over a short period of time and completely change my perception of my abilities, situation, interpersonal relationships, etc.
When I accept my mental illness as part of who I am, I can treat myself with compassion and do what I need to take care of myself – whatever that means in the moment. Sometimes it means remembering that yesterday I was viewing the world through “depression goggles” (and/or “anxiety goggles”) and choosing to celebrate what I was able to do, instead of criticizing myself for having difficulties. Sometimes it means allowing myself to fully feel difficult emotions and express them, even though I can’t explain why I’m feeling them. Often it means reaching out to loved ones for help, support, and hugs.
Taking care of myself has recently meant reminding my inner critic that I appreciate its company, but need it to use nicer words and a gentler tone to help me learn from my mistakes. Occasionally it means clinging to the knowledge that the severity of my symptoms fluctuates and the hope that tomorrow will be better, just to get through today. And on good days – those wonderful, rare, precious good days – it means being fully present and soaking in every glorious moment to make the best possible memories.
I’m trying to move toward using relatively good days to set up some kind of support structure that will make the not-so-good days easier – not just to get through, but to live within. If I can accept my mental illness as part of myself, then I can use my strengths on the days when I have the most access to them, to create accommodations for myself to use on the days when I feel the weakest.
Please visit the original Blog for Mental Health 2014 post for more information about the campaign and instructions for taking the pledge. I hope to see you on the official blogroll!!!
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I’ve just started a crowdfunding campaign to help me achieve my dreams and conquer my mental disorders. I need the the help of the mental health community, local & global, to make my dream a reality.
I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Phobia, Depression, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
I can’t even fully express the importance of what this campain means to me. If I succeed, I will have a much greater chance at a normal life.
Even if you can’t donate you can still make a difference in my life. You can spread the word about my campaign & make some noise in the internet community & to those you know.
Check out my campaign at: http://igg.me/at/caseysdreams
& my facebook page at:
Thank you for reading this!
I salute you for having the courage to reach out for help like this. I hope your campaign will be successful and you can achieve your dreams. Wanting to help others with mental illness is a very noble goal and your experiences can help you to understand what others are going through and help them better than if you didn’t have mental illnesses. Just remember it’s very important to take care of yourself, especially if you do go into a helping profession.
This is an older post so I’m not sure how many people are likely to see your comment. I think you might get more exposure in a new post. Would you like to write a guest post for my blog? (You can email it to ziyatam [at] hotmail [dot] com.) Alternatively I would be happy to write a post in which I quote your comment and perhaps include some additional information from your crowdfunding campaign and Facebook page.
Also, thank you for your efforts to raise awareness about the stigma and other difficulties (particularly financial) that people with mental illnesses face.
Finally, I think it’s great that you are part of a supportive community that you are contributing to as well. I’m happy to see that positive representation of people with mental illness. What you’re doing is awesome.
All the best,
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