I’m a Mom of a toddler and expecting our second in July.
I’ve been married to my husband for five years.
I have been blogging for two years, and previously was a high school teacher.
I love to read and knit, have a sweet tooth and a weak spot for animals, particularly cats.
I think my greatest quality is my generosity.
I have OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and have had bouts of Depression.
I have taken antidepressants since high school, including during both pregnancies.
The biggest stigma on mental illness was the one I put on it through my own shame. In high school and my early twenties, I told almost nobody about my struggles. I thought it made me weak, pathetic, useless. I thought it was embarrassing. I used to fake having the flu or some other illness to get out of social events or going to school.
I wished I had a disease that was “acceptable.” Why mental illness? Why not diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome? No one tells a diabetic to just “shake it off.”
My husband helped me stop hiding my anxiety. Not hiding it took a huge amount of the discomfort away: I no longer felt like I had to put on a show for people when I wasn’t feeling well. I also soon found out how many people in my entourage had their own struggles and could empathize.
In terms of getting well, I finally committed to regular therapy, and have been doing very well since just before getting pregnant with Cub. The coping strategies I learned in therapy even helped me to have a positive birth experience!
I’m writing about this today because today is Bell’s annual “Let’s Talk” Day. Because Bell donates money for all text messages sent, one of my good friends and I try to exchange as many messages as possible throughout the day (it’s important to turn off iMessage if you’re using WiFi and your iPhone so that messages go through as texts).
Retweet this to send 5 cents to mental health initiatives!
The message of the campaign is precisely what I’ve done above: I’ve talked. I’ve told you all that, hey, I have a mental illness! I take antidepressants! I’ve been to numerous psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists! I’ve known some mega lows in my life due to mental illness, and I spent too many of those lows hiding from the world.
I have a mental illness, but it doesn’t define me, nor does it make me less of an awesome person.
If you’ve been suffering in silence, let’s talk!
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