Thank you, Gypsy Queen, for your kind, encouraging and courageous comment about this blog.
Last week, we went "live and interactive," and you were the first to comment and bravely share your own experience of living and thriving with severe depression since the age of 14.
Quite inadvertently, you also justified my existence, here, at the Coming Out Crazy cranny, by starting a lovely thread of support.
Most important, you demonstrated how much we need to talk openly about mental health and wellness. To engage and dialogue. It's not easy.
Mental health issues touch everybody and we all need to come out. If we do then we can help each other openly. Freely get help. We can help each other. That's my vision for Coming Out Crazy. It's liberating. It's healthy. Talking is healing, whether it's private or public. That's why it's called therapy.
I know it's hard to talk about anything "mental" in public. Even in private. Easier to take a pill, right? You can do that silently.
But talking? Hearing the words. That's another story.
People I barely know often talk to me about their mental distress because I'm safe. I understand. I empathize. When they do, they often whisper. Up close and personal.
I assumed, when we went live, all the people who had emailed me here would jump at the chance to interact with me and with each other out here in the blogosphere. I was so excited. So hopeful.
There were lovely kudos and compliments, and I am most grateful, but only Gypsy Queen, wherever you are, offered a personal perspective "from the trenches," so to speak. You mentioned your own mental health issue.
I should have known most people might be a little reticent to write. Talk is ephemeral. There one minute. Gone the next. Whispers are barely heard. Email is very private.
But writing? It's permanent. Posting a comment, in public, online, about anything remotely related to mental health probably seems like stripping naked at the corner of Bloor and Yonge.
Especially if you're not used to it. It's easy for me. I've lived out loud all my life. No secrets. No lies.
"Mental" scares people. The word and the reality. It's still so taboo. Still mired in mystery and fear. Though things are changing, they're not changing fast enough.
And I'm not patient. I want change now!
I've been writing and speaking out publicly for years about my life with my mental illness. Here, all over Canada and in the U.S.
That's me. Not you. It's interesting, too, because I've learned that people are often nervous, wary about standing up and asking questions in public after one of my talks.
They'll mob me afterwards and talk to me privately.
But in public? Rarely.
So, all I can say, is keep reading. Maybe, I'll say something so outrageous, you won't be able to resist reacting. Maybe I'll touch a nerve so deep, you'll rush to your computer and share your feelings.
Like the intrepid Gypsy Queen.
P.S. We've just moved my blog to a new TypePad interface. Hope you like it!