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….
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!