Today, I Decided to Be a Mental Health Advocate

When I started Nowheregirl, I was hesitant to publish my self-confessions for fear of being tagged as the “girl with depression.” Writing the pain as I go through it makes each battle a little bearable, but putting the word out there for the world to see used to make me uncomfortable. It’s not hard to see why.

We know that mental health is still an uncharted territory for the majority, and admitting you are mentally ill is almost synonymous to admitting you are some crazy psychopath.

What I did was write from a second person’s point of view. I made it appear as if I were talking to a twenty-something girl when in reality, I was talking to myself. This somehow made me feel I was not completely baring my soul, and it worked. But rather than posting it on my blog, I decided to give Thought Catalog a try. I submitted the article and received an email three days later that my article has been accepted and was up at their site.

Since then, I have been writing about mental health and submitting articles to various platforms, where I can reach and inspire hundreds of people, something that my blog couldn’t do for me because I have a small following.

From time to time, I get messages and comments from friends and strangers alike, saying they find my posts relatable. Some of them even share stories of their personal battles with me, seeking advice from someone who’s slowly learning to live with the pain.

I know there are downsides to publicizing your self-confessions, like being looked down upon by colleagues or employers. I have this friend who publicized her story about depression, which resulted in not getting the promotion that her manager almost promised her just because, in her manager’s own words, she has low emotional IQ. Even I got called “psychotic” by a colleague when he discovered through my blog that I was suffering from depression.

But knowing that there is someone out there who relates to my stories and finds comfort in my words is enough to compensate for those downsides. This makes me feel like in a way, I and my readers are on this journey together.

Today, I decided to create a Mental Health category in my blog, so readers who want to read about my journey can easily find them. Today, I decided I will be a mental health advocate in my own little way.

I’ll start by saying that if you are also fighting those invisible monsters, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me so we can talk and build an army. I may be an introvert and awkward at first, but I promise I will listen. Because, most of the time, that’s all we need–someone who will lend an ear, someone who understands.

If you want to get professional help, you can call our suicide prevention hotline (Philippines) 804-4673 (HOPE).

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