Did you know that 20% of Canadians will suffer personally from Mental Illness in their lifetime? The statistics are that high.
Today is Bell Let’s Talk day, and it’s inspired me to share a bit of my own story with you all. Today, for every text message on the Bell network, 5 cents will be donated to Mental Health supports- and for every social media tweet and post as well, using #BellLetsTalk as a hashtag.
So, let’s talk.
Mental Illness has affected me personally for most of my life. I am a survivor of sexual assault and sexual abuse, which of course impacted my life in such a way that Mental Health was a struggle. I became very depressed. So much so, that I actually tried to take my own life when I was 19.
I know what it feels like, to be so down that you really don’t see a way out. To feel like the world would be better off without you. To wonder if it’s even possible for you to ever get passed this feeling, and to reach true peace and happiness.
It has taken many years of therapy and self help for me to reach the stage that I’m at. I can comfortably say that I have genuinely recovered from my depression and suicidal tendency. But it wasn’t easy and I could not have done it without the support of my family and friends.
So many long hours were spent chatting with people from all around the world, who were dealing with the same issues I was. For me, the internet was a massive resource for relief. Something about talking to a stranger made it easier to spill my guts- to release everything I had buried down so deeply. I found it even more therapeutic than my Counselor.
I began writing online. I started a livejournal and wrote about everything, dark and light, that I was feeling. I began writing Poetry and Short Stories on deviantArt. I started sketching. More resources appeared with more conversations- the women and men I was talking to were giving me great suggestions on how to find tools to overcome. I was finding myself, one byte of data at a time.
I also have social anxiety and some general anxiety. Especially since having children.
As an introvert, the internet is a comfortable place for me. I can satisfy my social needs in safety and without being overwhelmed. But I have to remember that the people in the real world are worth interacting with too- and that’s why days like Let’s Talk are so important.
If you or someone you know are experiencing Depression or Anxiety or any other form of mental illness, please know that you are not alone. That there are resources and methods to help you overcome. And today, reach out and talk to people in person and online about Mental Health. Be open.