You Don’t Need To Be Famous To Be A Survivor!
“Mental illness leaves a huge legacy, not just for the person suffering it but for those around them”
What seems like a lifetime ago and yet is only ten years back now l was being hailed as a crusader, a champion to a cause – l didn’t feel like either of those titles – l was just doing what came naturally to me – speaking about something which l believed in – nothing that special – just creating awareness to a situation that needed more than it had.
People say to me that l am an advocate for mental health – l am neither an advocate or a defender – l am just me, being me. I am passionate about mental health, because l have it – all of us do, but sometimes our equilibrium is shot and we tilt more than we should!
Mental health issues and l have a long history together, way longer than my diagnosis of Asperger’s – which is ironic, because l had autism since birth so l guess the marriage with my minds’ instability stands to reason why at times we both feel the need to part ways and seek divorce! But you can’t do that can you? You and your mind are one; the best pathway is to try and get along – to be balanced!
A short bio for you, the reader so you can see where l have been and why l enjoy such a lustful and almost erotic union with my brain! My diagnosis came at the right time in my life, although l could have done with it way earlier to have avoided the constant conflict l had in years previous, but hey it is what it was.
Walking within the darkened alleyways of depression, anxiety and hard core daily stress takes its toll upon your very being, your essence of being alive. Today l am an ex self-harmer of some six years. Since then, the desire to cut, to harm and to cause injury to myself has gradually and thankfully dispersed. Self – harm is yet another addiction – a strange one perhaps, but this is an emotion that only ‘self-harmers either current or ex’ can relate to.
My arms and legs although healed display clearly to the savvy observer a relationship that was once turbulent and rocky and if anyone asks, l no longer declare l fell off a tree and landed on a greenhouse! NO, l am honest, l am a toughie – l am an ex self-harmer and whilst these may look like scars to you, they are my medals of valour – l got through to the end of the tunnel!
My last ”serious attempt at suicide ‘ was in 2011 [although admittedly l did contemplate throwing myself off a cliff face earlier last year, but it was more of a ‘If l did do this, would l be lucky enough to die?’ style of attempt in comparison to ‘l have had fucking enough of this joke called life‘ attempt], l stopped at that point because l came to realise that perhaps, just maybe l was supposed to be alive!? Twenty – six attempts over fifteen years and zilch results except LIFE – tells you something – you are either 1] meant to be or 2] real unlucky or 3] really clumsy!
Each to their own interpretation of course and humour aside l guess l have to go with number 1, although l can be really clumsy!
The Motherlode of all breakdowns was present during most of my attempts and self-harming – a full mental and physical meltdown lasting ten years – 1995 – 2005 and the awakening from that moment l fell to the time my eyes opened properly was a long time coming! It was a long battle indeed – but l did get through!
The person who entered that episode in 1995 never resurfaced in 2005 – the man that walked out was a very different species indeed. I am a survivor if nothing else, l have real stickability!
I know what it’s like to walk with the Misery, l know when there, what our minds think of and where they drift to – l can totally relate to the inner pain, the screaming – the absolute feeling of emptiness and what it’s like to scramble constantly to get a grip again on reality – the reality of actuality of the reality – l understand that ethos well.
And that’s why l am passionate about mental health – because l know only too well of the horrors inside us and what happens when our integrity runs amok!
Am l an advocate, a defender, a crusader or a champion – no, l am just me being Me. I don’t care about celebrities and their suffering, and how it hits the tabloids and twenty million people read about it and can sympathise! Who cares about that? How about all the non-celebrities this world has, whose names are not in the papers, but the pain is still there? How about their loved ones and their families and their friends who have to go through the journeys with them, hoping, praying that they come out at the other end in one piece, and who are there day in, day out to pick up the pieces?
How about them?
You don’t need to be famous to be a survivor; you certainly don’t need to be famous to be a sufferer!
Taboos are created by an uncaring society, fearful of the unknown – not wishing to discuss the seriousness and so shoving it into the dark corners, shunning it and ostracising those affected! Stigmas are then born from that fear. Both need smashing and stomping underfoot. The myths need to be debunked and society needs to be made aware of the reality of actuality of reality and learn to accept, understand and welcome with open, caring and mindful arms.
We can all be advocates, all of us in our own ways, unique to who we are, by just being true to who we are or as l like to say ‘Be You True’. We can make someone’s day just by smiling at them, or offering a pleasant greeting, sharing a laugh, the touch of a hand at the right time, a listening ear – it’s not just about speaking up or out on their behalf it’s about being there for them too – you probably are nodding your heads right now – and you know why?
Because you too are an advocate, see it’s not just me!
It’s You Too
So Be You True!