Written by Taylor Nicole.
I have been out of the mental health closet for two years now; I had to be, as a mental health advocate. It was weird not telling people what I was passionate about and not sharing my blog posts. I’m a very open person and I felt like I was hiding away something that was very important in my life; it almost made me more ashamed. But often I wonder; are my friends and family as open about me, when some of them aren’t even open about themselves?
I wonder if some are ashamed of me.
I wonder if some are ashamed of me. I wonder when people ask what I do if some people I know just shrug and dodge the question. Do they talk behind my back as if my illness is made up? I know some people don’t like me and I’m sure they do this, but what about people I call friends and family. What if I know people who are actually ashamed or disgusted in who I am? Is this a piece of my identity they can’t accept? I don’t want to be around people who think of me like that. It makes me sad this could send people over the edge. Realistically I know that this is going to be uncomfortable for some people to hear, but my mental illness is a part of me. And I need to talk about it, just like I need to talk about my relationship strife and hard times in my world.
I don’t want people to think of me as the “mental health girl.”
I wonder on the other hand if others are proud. Like if my mental illness is some badge of honor. Do people think highly of me because of my mental illness? I can’t imagine mental health equating to high regards. I hope people don’t change their view of me that drastically. Although I say mental illness is part of me it isn’t my defining quality or attribute. I don’t want people to think of me as the “mental health girl.” I’m so much more than that.
Maybe my openness can make them a little more open.
I can only worry about myself and what I think. I’m proud that I came out with my mental illness, but sometimes I miss the solitude in being alone. There always seemed to be a poetic justice to that loneliness. But since people know I just hope it explains to them a little about what’s going on with me. I hope it doesn’t make a serious impact on how they view me, but maybe my openness can make them a little more open.