Today is Time to Talk Day. It's time we were able to talk more openly about mental health. It's 2017 and we still shun those with brains different to everyone else.
There is so much misinformation about mental health in the media which does nothing to help fight the stigma surrounding people like myself.
I have mental health issues. I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder to name but a few. I am completely unmedicated and I don't see a therapist. This is my choice. I also self harm. This is something I have done for most of my life. I don't do it for attention, I don't do it for pity or sympathy. It's as much a part of me as my arm or leg. I try to not hurt myself but sometimes things are just too overwhelming and self harm relieves the pressure. Albeit temporarily. Self harm is an illness and an addiction. There are scientific studies that PROVE self harm helps in certain situations.
I am not a bad person. I do everything I can to help others. That's the kind of person I am. My behaviour is different from yours, that is all. When I love someone or something, I love it so much it consumes me. I don't know how to regulate that part of me and I don't think I even want to. I am not dangerous. I work with children. If anything, they are my therapy. When I am around children my life is instantly better. Even when they are little sh*ts! I love their enthusiasm. I love their curiosity. I love their entirely unfiltered view of the world. When a child tells you that they love you, you know it is true.
I would love to be able to "come clean" to my employers about my mental health. That way they would see that I am actually much more than just a nanny. I am a fighter, I am a survivor, I am a warrior! By keeping my struggles hidden I am lying to them, to myself and to the children.
I dream of a day I can be honest about my mental health and have it seen as a positive instead of a negative. Until that time, we need to keep fighting, keep challenging the stigma and keep talking!
I'm happy to answer questions people may have and provide reading materials for those of you who wish to know more about my issues or other mental health issues. Let's keep talking and someday we can end the stigma surrounding mental health issues!