They say that bacteria needs seven things to grow*. Well, I believe that mental illness/disturbance needs just one thing to grow – SILENCE.
Those who know me know that I tend to be a very private person. I do not have a deep need to be heard. I do however have a desire to encourage others not to struggle alone. Writing publicly about my mind took me a long time to do and to some extent goes against my nature. But, what I realised is that all silence ever did for me was:
- allow my shame to grow
- make me feel alone
- make me feel like there was no way out of my problems
- result in the deterioration of my mind
- prolong my suffering
- allow me to lose out on life
I decided to write about it and write publicly because:
- I know that when I die, if I do nothing else in this world, if I achieve none of my other dreams, at least my words might help others confront their struggles/seek help/know they are not alone
- I would hate for others to lose out on life in the way that I did. If my writing helps someone seek help quicker or speak sooner, then this blog is worth it
- people need to know that no matter their experience, they are not the only ones to have suffered from mental illness/disturbances
- my mother encouraged me to speak openly and she also encouraged me to stop writing during times of relapse so that I could focus on getting better
- I come from a long line of ‘strong’ women. I thought I was weak because I could not cope with all that was going on in my mind and in my world. I now realise that strength has nothing to do with mental illness. It is not a weakness to struggle or to become ill. The weak/strong dichotomy just resulted in more self-loathing which didn’t work out well for me. I now prefer to consider things in this way: each human being has differing levels of resilience and I can grow mine just like others can grow/have grown theirs.
- I want others to know that mental illness does not have a face, a race, an age, a profession etc
I write because my silence almost killed me. I write because silence kills.