I don’t really talk about my mental health much. Nobody really does. It’s not ‘cool’ and I always feel like people are staring me down, looking for the faker, the liar – because that’s how it felt when I was a kid. You weren’t bullied, you were just weak. That’s how they wrote your story.
But if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that the sadness comes to visit. The doubt creeps in too. I think it happens to most people, we just see it all a little differently through our eyes and our own circumstances. But this post isn’t about the sadness, it’s about the light at the end of the tunnel.
A while ago, I really can’t remember when, I found out about this charity called To Write Love on Her Arms. It spoke to me in a way that other charities that focussed on mental health awareness didn’t. It spoke to me, it didn’t talk at me. It’s primary purpose from my perspective is to let young people and creatives know that they are not alone and that there is someone out there who ‘gets it’.
Their message and the work that they do made me wish they were around when I was younger. It was tough to be a kid who was without the parent that society deemed to be the ‘proper’ caregiver. It was tough to be the kid that knew exactly who she was and didn’t want to hide from that. I lost a bit of her, the fearless one, over the years, but she’s in there somewhere.
I love TWLOHA because their messages are simple: Your Story is Important; Love is the Movement. They are messages that breed hope. They remind us what is important. Love beats hate every time.
It was hard for me to choose the t-shirt I wanted from their store, but it’s the one in the selfie above that resonated with me, the creative, the most. I wear it when I’m having a hard day to remind me to do these things. Sometimes I wear it when I’m feeling awesome so that it speaks to someone else that needs to hear it.
If the last 4 years of being a part of the twitter creative/blogging community has taught me anything, it’s that we can deal with things better when we have someone who gets it. Someone who believes. With birthday number 27 looming, I believe more than ever that we need to stand together and talk these things out. Everybody’s story is important. We are all working hard to carve a good future for ourselves.
I think you’re doing a great job, even if you can’t quite see it today. If you can’t see past the doubt, ask someone to have a look for you, they just might be able to.
Here’s to big dreams, and loving all our victories – even the tiny ones.