Skimming through my Word Press Reader the other day I ran across this article and enjoyed a ramble through all of its links. I came across Canvas of the Minds and their Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project and wanted to get involved. While I don’t think of my blog as a mental health blog, in some ways I owe it to my own struggles in this department. I started blogging to try and pull myself out of a bad funk. Then I failed, and you can see the year of silence screaming out of the archives where I thought every word I ever had had dried up forever. Then I got some help and one of the first ways I saw improvement was that a little flicker of writing inspiration began to glimmer in the corners of my mind. It took about three months to very carefully sneak up on that whisper of creativity and capture it without it melting away. The result was Between Good Fridays, and from then on I have been able to write regularly. So getting mentally healthy gave me back my interests. For that I’m grateful. But thinking about that I realized I’m also grateful for my struggles getting there. I owe some good things to my worst times. I think depressed people know themselves really well. We spend a lot of time locked up in our heads with all our worries and faults. I think this has allowed me to be honest with myself about what I need to work on. It has also made me a lot more understanding, patient and forgiving with the faults of others. Depression has humbled me, and boy do I need that. Depression has given me an opportunity to help others too, and that feels really good. Opening up about these things always feels a bit embarrassing, and also a bit self absorbed. Then I get a note from someone that says reading it allowed them to seek help, or showed them how to talk to a friend who needed support. Then I am reminded that, while these illnesses feel intensely personal and isolating, there are many many others fighting similar battles. To connect with each other breaks through the walls that so easily box us in. So without further ado, I’m going to take the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge. I don’t know how often I’ll write on the topic (I don’t like to force things), but when I do my personal goal is to do so less apologetically, more unabashedly. So here goes:
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
If you are coming to this blog for the first time through Canvas of the Minds, welcome! I am Cait and I struggle with PMDD and Postpartum Depression and have also experienced periods of Major Depression. It’s not who I am, but it’s part of who I am and that ok! I encourage you to click the Depression category here and maybe start with The Other Side Of The Door to see if my personal experience speaks to you.