Hi. My name is Sarah, and I have a mental illness.
I’ve lived with panic disorder and depression for my entire adult life. I’m a mother of two beautiful children. I’m a sister, a daughter, a friend and a human being. I’m a survivor, a warrior, a writer, a poet, an actor and an artist.
I am many things, but I am not crazy.
To me, crazy is a derogatory word — a curse word in a book I have yet to write. Do not call me crazy. Call me brave, call me scared, call me Sarah, but don’t call me “crazy.”
I am your neighbor. I am sitting next to you on the train. I am talking to you in the grocery store, or smiling at you as we pass one another on the street. I’m just like everyone else you meet, only I’m not. Because I am living with a significant mental illness that challenges me every day.
My mental illness is like an annoying neighbor who won’t get the hint when you want her to go home. It fools me and tells me I’m worthless. It tells me to give up. It tells me to stop. Go no further. Don’t do that, don’t succeed. You are not enough. You are not worthy.
I fight those thoughts every day.
But here’s the thing. The person you’re sitting next to in a coffee shop might be just like me. Maybe you can’t tell, and maybe they won’t tell you, but people with mental illness are living among us. Often, they feel silenced.
Look around you.
And know if you’ve been called crazy, you are not alone.
I’m standing beside, you waving my freak flag high.
Because I’m taking crazy back. You can’t have it anymore.
There is no crazy. Only human.
The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us a story about a time you encountered a commonly held misconception about your mental illness. How did you react, and what do you want to tell people who hold his misconception? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.