MH STIGMA AIN’T SWEET

This is what I just posted on my Facebook RED January group page, in response to the knobber on there who had a pop at me a few days ago for what I post about mental health online….

SUMMER is….

Feeling INSPIRED and ENTHUSED… :) Earlier this week someone online gave me the feedback that if I continued to post as much as I do online about my mental health it could be perceived as “attention seeking” and “provocative”…and that they wanted to educate me about the norms of “social media etiquette” (which I am apparently breaking) in order to “help me”.

I discussed this with my psychologist in therapy yesterday…we had a good old chat about it. I reflected that I fully agree and accept that I AM attention seeking, and also provocative…but they are not in themselves bad things, and my intentions are always to ‘seek attention’ and ‘provoke’ in very positive ways. I DO try and attract attention and provoke with what I write. My keyboard is my influencer. My writing does has a distinct purpose, and I most definitely DO have an agenda, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to make my agenda transparent…

My agenda is to smooth the pathway forward for people to express themselves authentically when it comes to their own mental health difficulties. I want to highlight how difficult it can actually be to remain authentic in a society where mental health stigma is sadly still so prevalent. I won’t stop writing until myself or anyone else with diagnosed or non-diagnosed psychological disorders can write without shame attached when they share about the truth of the (usually private) difficulties they face. I don’t want anyone to feel sidelined, socially rejected, or ostracised/belittled. I also don’t want anyone with a mental health disorder to feel “less than” anyone else, or like a second class citizen who has to stay within their private ‘circle of sadness’, never to rub shoulders with anyone “normal”. Normal is a cycle on a washing machine, and as Karl Knights said in his fantastic interview “we all lie on a continuum of mental health”, even those of us outside of the 1 in 4. Mental health stigma is damaging and unneccessary.

I feel proud of what I do…and if it isn’t to everybody’s taste and that happens to alienate me from the approval of certain people, I can deal with that. I honestly can. What I do in writing takes bravery and involves social risk taking, exposing me to potential criticism and very personal accusations. It’s a good job I’m a gutsy lady who has an inner strength that goes beyond my Borderline PD highly sensitive diagnostic label. Personally I would much rather be like I am, than someone who conforms because they are just too nervous to do anything that lies beyond their comfort zone.

My personality is marmite and will attract both lovers and haters, and that’s fine. I accept I am intense and “too much” for some, but that hater has done me a massive favour so I want to take this opportunity to personally thank them! That person has actually motivated me to continue on exactly the same path I’m already walking along (or typing along), but with increased confidence and passion. Criticism in this case has fuelled my determination to carry on doing exactly what I’m doing, far beyond the realms of this Facebook group. I have big plans for my future and I am excited about this and the possibilities ahead, which is a pretty huge declaration to make given my previous suicidality.

If I am “too much” for people, or write too much for your taste, or share more than you are comfortable reading, I understand…and there is certainly no obligation to read anything, (specific people’s posts can be hidden), but I will continue to write for the people who like what I do and benefit from it. I will appreciate and feel grateful for the lovely comments I’ve attracted from REDDERs throughout January, and if I’ve made anyone think, learn something, feel something, or empathise a bit better with people like me, or even helped you understand yourself a little better, then I count that as a HUGE success of which I am really proud :) Thank you to that person for making me stronger, even though it was the exact opposite of their intention. I won’t forget you  :)

and followed it up with this song… ;) LOL Revenge is sweet haha!

That knobber has actually done me a huge favour, whilst simultaneously making himself look like a total idiot! haha!

 

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17 thoughts on “MH STIGMA AIN’T SWEET

  1. Diagnoses are only words. It is sad to let them define us in a negative sense. I’m working on society with the writing and media interest I’m drumming up outside of my blog. My mission is to destigmatise open sharing about mental health :)

  2. That’s great to know because there is too much stigma on mental health issues these days. Thank you for response and thank you for your ability to speak about your personal experiences so freely. It’s very inspirational.

  3. Hi bel 😊 I have borderline PD, or emotionally unstable PD is its other name. I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I used to feel a certain amount of shame and stigma but now I’m feeling so well I don’t identity with my label that much.

  4. I’m inspired and intrigued by your post and would like to share with you that I too have a PD but I would like to consider myself in remission from it as I have taken care of it through treatment and practice. Although I still do get the occasional “flare up.” I was wondering if you felt comfortable enough sharing what your diagnosis is or is that too much to ask? I don’t want to be nosy I am just looking for someone to relate to I guess. I have a symptom of being bipolar and I just learned that a year ago. It’s great to see that you are strong enough to share your PD with others as I am still a little shy about mine. It’s inspirational and I feel positive reading your words. So thank you for that. I would greatly appreciate it if you would follow me or check out my blog. Either way thank you for your inspirational writings. -bel

  5. First, before I say anything else…I love the word knobber! It makes me laugh! Now, most important; so well said, Summer! You are finding/have found your voice and no one can silence you again. That’s good healing, my friend. :-)

  6. Aw that’s really kind hun 😘 I am adjusting to being more in the spotlight. It is challenging but I’m not going to stop 🙅🙌💪👍💕

  7. One authentically positive statement, very well said. :)
    It’s my view that your courage is transforming into fearlessness — which soon will come as standard. :D

  8. There are people out there that seem to feel the need to ‘educate’ us on all kinds of things and they really annoy me!

  9. Thanks Si 😘 I didn’t make my come back speech till today. He probably thinks he’s got away with it. The coward deleted the comments thread so there was no evidence of what he said. He knew people would not be impresed with what he said! Twat. I feel better now :)

CHAT TO ME (I am actually human)

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