8 Things on My Christmas 'Wish List ‘ as Someone With a Mental Illness
As a human, I have many material things I would like for Christmas, but as a person who lives with mental illness, I have a separate wish list money just cannot buy.
1. To end the stigma of mental illness.
I live my life openly as a person with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to help end the stigma of mental illness. I speak at engagements. I share my art and my story through social media and with friends and family. Yet, there is so much more work that needs to be done.
2. Continued access to quality mental health care.
I am blessed to have an amazing therapist and a fantastic support group. I also have good health insurance through my employer. Yet, I know many people who do not, and I know how quickly it could change for me, too.
3. For the government to keep moving mental health legislation and laws forward.
This includes the new President-elect, Congress and the Supreme Court. I wish for them to keep protecting citizens with mental illnesses, instead of criminalizing them. We have come so far with things like the Mental Health Parity law, and we cannot go back to the way it used to be.
4. Continued support of my family and friends.
Living with mental illness can be a constant struggle, even with proper care. I could not have made it without the constant support of my friends and family (including my furry family members.)
5. To not be judged for my mental illness or my symptoms.
I don’t want people to think I am weak because I cry or that I am not social because my anxiety is too much to go out with them.
6. To be able to actually find joy this holiday season.
Christmas has been a struggle for me in the past. This year, I wish to find the joy and happiness that has eluded me in Christmases past.
7. Time for self-care.
For me, art is my personal refuge. I need some time to enjoy that refuge for a while. Time for anything that helps you take care of yourself works.
8. Finally, to just find some peace of mind.
It’s hard to find some serenity when your mind is a constant battlefield. This wish is just to be able to find some moments where peace of mind is present.
I know Santa cannot put my wish list in fancy wrapped boxes under my tree, but I hope he is able to help me cross some things off of my list.
Image via Thinkstock.