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How Writing About Mental Health Has Changed My Life

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I never thought I would be a mental health advocate and writer like I’ve been in these past six months.

As I reflect on this, I think how my life has changed since that moment. I can’t help but think the most important thing you win when you decide to “come clean” about your ghosts is that your life acquires a new meaning. You give your scars, the tears you’ve cried, the rejection, the pain a meaning. A reason. A purpose.

Coming clean about your story won’t cure your illnesses. I still battle with horrible days in which getting out of bed is a triumph. I still have days in which I have to beg my mind to shut up. I still have moments in which death seems as tempting as a piece of chocolate for a person on a diet. I’m still who I was, but I’m not anymore.

Because in speaking my mind, in living an honest life between who I am, how I feel and who I portray to be towards the rest of the world, I found coherence and honesty. I found a way in which I don’t have to deny my personal battles for the fear of them making me feel I’m worth less than others.

And most importantly, I found a place in which I feel safe. I feel understood. I feel like I’m not alone.

I’ve shared my story just to find, with a grateful heart, the surprise of many, many people opening up to me about their own struggles. And there I found out we are all together — we are a community, we are in this battle together. Even though our stories can be different and what triggers our crisis might change, we are all trying our best to take every breath every second and to tell our minds life is worth living.

I’ve felt identified, shattered, full of admiration and inspired by people from all across the word who share a little of their fights in the comments of the articles I post. I’ve felt support from people who live six time zones away from me, and who I will probably never meet in person. But they’ve made me feel I’m not alone, that my story is worth telling, that the battle keeps going.

So thank you, every courageous soul who reaches out and opens up. I dare to say that readers give us so much more than we, writers, give them. Because their feedback is what makes our story worth telling and this whole job meaningful.

We aren’t different, writers and readers, as we all try to be honest and come clean about our battles with our heads up. But we need each other in order to give meaning to the unthinkable and painful events we go through. And hey, what a great thing it is to know you aren’t the only one who fights this horrid monster.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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

Unsplash photo via Mohamed Nohassi

Originally published: May 3, 2017
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