Day 16: How many people are you “out” to with your mental illness(es)? Why?
In regards to my current mental illnesses, anyone reading my blog will have more information about me and my life than most people in my every day life. It is my choice whether it is founded on reality or just my current mental state. I hate being a burden to anyone. Or feeling like I am one. So I remain relatively private about my metal illnesses and what I am experiencing bar this blog and some specific friends.
Coming “out” is often associated with homosexuality and I believe that in some ways it is apt for the mentally ill as well. Neither group are accepted before or often after their coming “out”. They just don’t “fit” mainstream society in a way that makes acceptance possible. I was ashamed of how I was and that I couldn’t cope. I hid my symptoms all my life so that I could have at least the appearance of normality. I also experienced a lot of stigma and discrimination that further “encouraged” me to keep as much to myself as I could.
I don’t like the idea of traumatising other people with my story. Relating it strains and exhausts me so I can only imagine that it would be at least that for the listener. I don’t want to share my misery or spread it. I just got used to keeping it to myself. This blog gives me the chance to say what I need to without focussing it on one person. In some ways not knowing the audience for what I am writing helps me to share it and to be completely honest about it. I do find that I can not write just for myself, my writing has to have a purpose. So some of my friends have been subject to periods of rambling. Now I reserve that for my blog and try to have a clear motivation for what I am writing.
I used to worry about the audience reading my story and I am still not okay about my posts going on Facebook so I stopped that. Its a hard habit to break, keeping things to myself but I am getting there. This 30 day challenge has been instrumental in providing me the means to explore my own beliefs about my mental illnesses. At times it has been very upsetting but I am determined to finish it and think that overall it is a very helpful process.