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.

Believe

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.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Three men looking at gifts on a table.

NAMI Shelby County Gives Christmas Gifts to Those Living With Mental Illnesses

Every holiday season for the past seven years, the Shelby County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) puts together a holiday celebration for those living with severe mental illnesses. As part of the festivities, each participant gets a home-cooked meal and individual stockings filled with gifts. This year there will more than 130 stockings, with [...]
group of men sitting at a bar

The Different Reactions I Get When I Tell People About My Mental Health

I have anxiety and depression. I can openly admit it to myself, but it’s sad that I feel scared telling other people about it. I don’t usually come out with it straight away. I have to be willing and ready, but I do often feel the need to tell people I’m close to — just [...]
3d image,woman composed of balls. Artificial intelligence concept

I Love My Brain, Even When We Fight

I love my brain, even when we fight. Some days I have to remind myself that my brain is not my enemy. It does amazing things every day. It makes me “me” and lets me serve those around me. But it’s also messy. Sometimes frustratingly so. And when things get messy… I brush off people [...]
hand holding colorful balloons

5 Ways I Define My Worth When I Don't Have an Answer for 'Where Are You Working?'

When I meet new people for the first time or people who haven’t seen me in a long time, I seem to always get the same question: “So are in school?” or “Where are you working?” It seems to me that our society has calculated our worth based on one or both of these things. [...]