This is something I think many of us go through in our own ways –
I want to dispel the existing stigma applied to mental health. Through communication and using my voice I can raise awareness. While I can research how people’s attitudes and beliefs perpetuate the stigma, and write about them — speaking publicly makes a greater impact.
Social media has become a channel to learn and process information. As a writer, I know the written word has tremendous power, but I can’t always hide behind my laptop.
I’ve worried about my perception by those who saw the interviews. Am I educating others, or exposing myself to ridicule? I realize that the stigma I want to fight resides deeply in the social psyche. In my goal to eliminate this public negativity, I have to confront that stigma is also internal.
I haven’t done any TV interviews or anything, yet, but this site has been around for a long time now, and plenty of people I know “offline” have visited, and yet every time I hear that someone has looked at it, or is going to look at it, I go through the same fear of what they are going to think about me now.
It’s something I have been willing to live with, but it’s not something to take lightly. I had to be willing to live with any response from people I know reading the site. That’s not the easiest thing to do. That’s why I support not only anyone who wants to tell their story, but also anyone who wants to do so anonymously. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to add your voice, and also not being ready for any possible response.