Hello lovely people and Happy May!
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month?
During a conversation with my sister earlier this week, I was reminded (ok, let’s be real, I didn’t know, so really, I was told, but shhhhh…..) that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Thanks for the reminder, sis!
Now, if you’ve read any previous posts on the blog or seen any of the posts on the Facebook or Instagram pages, you’ll see that there are at least a handful on Mental Health. (I would go and count them all for you, but alas, I am lazy and have better things to do.) ANYWAYS…Mental Health is a topic I am really passionate about especially since I have and still do struggle. Not to mention the countless friends and family members who I know also struggle. Mental Health is like a the haystack in which you’re searching for the needle. Most everyone struggles in some way with their mental health at some point in their lives. Or at least, I tend to think that is the case.
And yet, talking about our mental and emotional health struggles and disabilities is really taboo – like REALLY!!! No one wants to share the vulnerable weaknesses that make them into the strong, amazing, capable, and lovable individuals they are today. Why that is? I have ZERO clue. So, as I thought of what I might do to help bring awareness and light to Mental Health this month, I had a beautiful idea come to my mind that I can only attribute to inspiration from God.
The radiant inspiration that has had me buzzing for the last 48 hours is to tell YOUR story. That’s right! You the reader. I want to tell your story as it relates to Mental Health.
How will I accomplish this project?
In two ways.
First, I need to hear your story before I can tell it. To do this, I have created an interview style questionnaire/survey for you to answer and share different aspects of your experience with a Mental Health struggle. I have further broken this down into three separate categories: First – your personal experience, Second – your experience acting as a witness or caretaker to someone else’s personal experience, and Third – your experience losing a loved one to suicide.
Once I have received your story, my hope is to take your words and share them in it’s own titled blog post as part of the blog series, Your Story: a conversation about mental and emotional health and disabilities. I intent to use your words with limited edits so as to allow your voice to shine through.
As far as how they will be formatted to fit the blog…I’m still ironing out that wrinkle, but I hope how I share your story will do your story the justice it deserves.
Please be aware that all of the stories shared come with a trigger warning. These are real life stories full of genuine experiences. And I want them to be as honest as possible without increasing the risk of harm to anyone. With that in mind, you will read content with strong topics such as panic attacks, eating disorders, addiction, suicide, self harm, and likely much more.
Like J. K. Rowling wrote in the Harry Potter series, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” I believe this applies to Mental Health and the challenge one experiences during the battle. So, I appreciate all who bravely share their experiences no matter how dark. But I respect and greatly understand that these topics make people uncomfortable and can send someone recovering into a deadly backward spiral. So if you choose not to read any of these stories, I understand. But if you do, I pray you will treat them with respect and reverence.
I am excited for this project to be underway. I have already received answers to the questionnaires, and I expect to continue to receive answers as stories are published. If you are interested in participating in this project, please fill out the survey(s) as it applies to you.
To all those who have already opened their souls and submit their story, THANK YOU!
All my love,