Today there’s a campaign going from Bell, one of Canada’s mobile providers. For every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, they’ll donate 5 cents to funding mental health initiatives across Canada. (They’re also donating for each text or call their customers make, and for every share of the Bell Let’s Talk image.)
You can read more about their campaign here.
I probably don’t have to say why this is important to me. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve noticed that I’ve mentioned my depression and anxiety.
I try to be open as possible about the mental health issues I have here on my blog. It’s really difficult. Talking about my depression is tied up with a lot of feelings of self-hatred, and that’s a direct result from the shaming and silencing that people like me suffer when we do talk about it. Vicious cycle.
I talk about it, however, because it’s important to break that silence. It’s terrifying every time I write publicly about my depression, especially as the internet is filled with trolls and assholes who live for the chance to hurt someone. Talking about my mental illness in a public venue like this blog is basically giving them ammo and a gun and letting them point it at my head.
(This post is taking a lot out of me to write.)
I do it anyway. I talk about these things because the silence must be broken. We need to stop shaming people for having mental illness. We need to treat those with mental illness with respect, dignity, and love.
That starts with honest conversations. That starts with ending the silence.
So, today, let’s talk. Today, I say: I have depression and anxiety. I’ve tried to commit suicide several times over the course of my life and I deal with suicidal thoughts often. I’ve self-harmed and I have eating disorders. In response to my mental illness, I have been told I need to just snap out of it, that a little vitamin D will fix me right up, that I should just shut up and be happy because I don’t have real problems, that I’m a whiny emo wimp, and worse.
If you have mental illness, you are not alone.