As you may know, I’m very open about my mental health. I do this because I don’t want to go through life ashamed, fearful and secretive. I’ve had enough of applying to jobs and not feeling able to disclose my diagnoses and telling people I’m “alright” when I’m in my lowest lows.
Given that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to dedicate a post every day to talking about mental health.
These last few months have been the worst health of my life. I’ve been hypomanic, delusional, had hallucinations, attempted suicide and forgotten hours, days and weeks at a time. These aren’t easy things to say, or to even write. They make me sound weak, selfish, insane. It’s only being on good medication that I am in a place where I can talk about it all in the past tense. So why am I making myself write it at all? Because I’ve received massively varied treatment and I think the only way we can become better friends, family, doctors and patients is to be as open as possible. Most of the health care professionals I have come into contact with have had little insight into my condition, which hasn’t been very helpful.
I’ll be writing in more detail about these recent experiences as the week goes on, but for now I want to launch something very exciting.
My mum has long called me a “fruit loop” to cheer me up when I’m feeling down. I think that it is important that we reclaim these labels that can be used to stigmatise us, and use them instead to empower us. With this in mind I have designed these postcards: