By Taylor Stout, 1/16/18
Originally posted on her blog, Army of Hope
I’ve always been very vocal about my mental illnesses. It holds me accountable, puts things into perspective, and helps others. I recently heard that someone I know was with someone who felt like I use my struggles to get attention.
In the almost 3 years I have been without symptoms, and even before that, I received messages about how others can relate or they know someone who can. It’s amazing the more we talk, the more we connect and build strength. If I wouldn’t have shared my story people wouldn’t have been comfortable enough to approach my parents for guidance or ask what is helpful.
The worst thing we can do is be silent. Some people don’t want to talk about their struggles, and that’s totally fine, I respect that. Others want to, but don’t want to be seen as attention seeking. Trust me, the people who accuse you of that are far fewer than you would imagine. Even when you do come across those people know that 1) they don’t understand what you’re experience and 2) their inaccurate view of your motives does not reflect your actual motives.
Breaking silence can mean a lot of things. It can include making a blog, starting a support group at your school, or even wearing a mental health t-shirt to the gym. Today, I saw guy at the gym wearing a NEDA (national eating disorder association) shirt and stopped him to say ‘I love your shirt, I almost wore mine today!!!’ A huge smile broke out on his face and he said how cool that was. Something as simples as a shirt can create strength in knowing you aren’t alone.
Never let your voice be silenced for fear that you’ll be seen as attention seeking. You and the people you help will thank you.