I recently found and have been reading Nicole's blog Thrifty Vintage Fashion and her posts on mental health. One of her more recent posts was on Why people that share their experiences aren't doing it for attention and I was quite inspired by it and she raised some good points on the stigma of mental health and how it's hard for people to speak about it because of this.
I'll leave you to check out the whole post, but basically it inspired me to try and be more vocal about my experiences in the hope that maybe it might help someone or help remind people going through it that others are too and that they're not alone. I want to do this because I know reading other people's blogs on it has helped me in the past and still does today evidently and also that I think writing it down in the form of a blog post might help me with my recovery in the future.
It's actually a lot harder than it seems. Several times now I've typed out my feelings and then deleted it all and then left it and then tried again and I can't seem to find the best way to put things. I don't want my blog to become all sad and filled with these ED/anxiety related posts but at the same time I want to be honest because otherwise it doesn't really help. (But don't worry I'll try and post these posts sparingly unless people actually do find them helpful).
I think I'm finding it so hard to get things down in appropriate words because basically I'm embarrassed and ashamed of my feelings toward my ED. I always have been which has made things difficult to express which I think is one of the reasons it's gone on so long. And even though things are changing a little bit now, I don't think they're changing for the better.
I won't go into the whole story right now but I think I just wanted to get down some points that people should keep in mind before forming opinions or judging people;
- As Nicole has rightly said in her post - 'it takes every ounce of courage to share personal thoughts on mental health on social media' - it's really not easy. People face a lot of judgement and criticism with blogging on any topic but I feel the stigma around mental health has made it a very taboo subject that people who haven't experienced it just don't understand and so feel scared.
- We aren't proud of these feelings and quite often really lack confidence because we feel embarrassed of ourselves.
- Having a "mental illness" doesn't make us crazy. We are normal people, some like talking about it, some don't. It shouldn't be a scary subject, it should be something that people empathise with and bring people closer together.
What are your thoughts on the stigma and how to break it down?