Today in Canada, it is Bell Let’s Talk day. This day is very important to me, and I know many other people around Canada and the world that suffer from mental illness.
Bell’s goal is to end the stigma surrounded by mental health, and by using various social media platforms they are able to raise awareness and money for this cause.
Not many people know my own story with mental illness, although especially with today it is important to share your own voice. I went through an extremely hard time in university when I was horribly bullied by a group of girls who did not care about their own actions and how they affect other people. I began to feel depressed and anxious, I was tormented on campus and scared to leave my house. My grades dropped, as I was being publicly humiliated on social media. It was through this time that I suffered, and thanks to my family and my close friends that stood by me no matter what I was able to come out on top.
Mental illness effects everyone, whether it is a personal battle or a family or friend it is something that needs to be talked about. Words hurt, and bullying should not be accepted. Please, think about what someone is going through before you say something about their behaviour.
Today, I am happy and healthy and not ashamed to have to take medication to make sure I can live with my anxiety and depression. Without my medication, I would not be able to get up and live my life. There are still days when I just want to stay in bed and not face what is out there, a pain that hurts no matter what. It is something that I live with, no matter how hard it may be at times. I am thankful everyday for the friends that never left my side, my family who loved me through the tears and dark days.
Let’s end the stigma!
Check out Bell’s page for more details: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
Or http://www.thedialogueprojects.com/ which is a Toronto based company that is raising awareness by sharing stories to end the stigma. They sell shirts and bags with an elephant on them- the ever present ‘elephant in the room’ when one talks about mental illness.
I am not ashamed, this is who I am. Those who don’t understand do not belong in your life.
Thank you, please feel free to comment your own stories in the comments below.