Blog For Mental Health 2014

I was reading one of my favourite blogs called Infinite Sadness… or Hope?  It’s created by a wonderfully inspirational woman named Cate from across the Tasman Sea. That’s New Zealand for those of you not from Australia, and I came across a post titled “Blog For Mental Health 2014 (four in four)”. The more I read, I discovered I really liked the idea behind  Blog for Mental Health. It’s a campaign fronted by A Canvas For The Minds and so I signed up straight away. Here is my pledge for 2014.


“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.”


Most of what I write about here relates to my struggles in regards to mental health. But it’s still MY blog so there’s a change I’ll write about other things too. Sex, Relationships all sorts of things. So think of that as a disclaimer. I write whatever I’m feeling inspired about. Always have always will.

Mental Health is a very important and often misunderstood struggle. My own struggles to achieve “Mental Health” have been going on for most of my life, and most likely will continue to do so. And for a long time I lived with the stigma and shame of suffering from Depression, Anxiety and even a touch of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Over the years I’ve been diagnosed Bipolar too, so as you can tell life gets pretty exciting for me.

I initially created this blog as a journal of sorts. A place that was mine, to talk about how I was feeling and I never imagined anyone would care let alone appreciate it, some even spread the word about what I do here. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the WordPress Community and I’ve discovered some amazing people who are all going through struggles of their own. It is those people who inspired me to share more, and take part in this pledge.  I did a bit of research and discovered that in Australia alone almost 45% of people aged  between 18 and 85 will suffer from Mental Illness during their lifetime. The annual cost of mental illness in Australia has been estimated at $25 billion if not more, which includes the cost of lost productivity and labour force participation. In 2003, mental disorders were identified as the leading cause of healthy years of life lost due to disability.

There’s a lot more information out there if you just care to look. The point I’m trying to make is that there are so many of us out there. Sure our stories are different, our symptoms are different. But we are all united in our struggle to live our everyday lives with  Mental Illness. And for a lot of people it’s a struggle we choose to live in silence. In my lifetime I’ve attempted suicide 5 times. I’ve cut myself, developed sex, drug and alcohol problems and made and lost a lot of friends along the way. But the most important thing for me was learning to TALK about how I was feeling. To swallow my misplaced pride and accept that some of us need a little extra help and ASKING for help doesn’t make me weak nor vulnerable.

I had to hit bottom to decide I wanted something different from what I’d tried before. Some could argue that what I go through is not anyone else’s business, but do you know what? That’s the problem with Mental Illness, no one wants to know. No one wants to understand and  thanks to therapy, medication and positive thinking, I have more Mental Health in my life than Mental Illness. I will always have times where things are a little too much to handle. But I will also have times where I feel great because I’ve accepted myself as I am. I love the fact that I am different. I love that I FEEL emotions differently and that I have an extreme level of empathy and really care about people. I mean I REALLY care about those I love. 

I suppose that’s why I do this although not as often as I should. I’m a writer who is ruled by inspiration and emotion. I throw passion and emotion into EVERYTHING I create. I learned to channel all my emotions, both positive and negative, into something greater. I stopped trying to hide from my Mental Illness. Instead I decided I wasn’t a freak but in fact, I fucking ruled! I love what makes me different. And I’ve learned to stop caring about what other people think of me so much. Those I love and respect matter of course, but I don’t give a moments thought to the impressions I make on strangers in the street any more. I’ve never felt so free, My confidence levels are higher than they have in years and when bad things happen, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just an obstacle to overcome. The past used to haunt me. But it’s made me into who I am today. I’ll always be “mental” but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Any one can make changes in their lives. You can be anything you want to be. You just have to break the awful cycle of self loathing and give yourself a break ya know? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just remember that anything is possible. You can be happy but you have to learn deep down inside that you DESERVE happiness. That you DESERVE to be loved and respect. That being different isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Because once you learn to love and accept yourself. The world can do the same.

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