Welcome to my new blog Hope and Mental Health.
A new day and a new adventure awaits me, and I am spreading out in the field of writing.
For those of you who have read my other blog http://suzy-livingsucessfullywithdid.blogspot.ca/ you know that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, Complex P.T.S.D. and issues with depression. In that blog I write about the struggles and adventures of living daily with these conditions and my journey through life. I will keep writing that blog.
I am also now going to be writing another one, this one. I have been wanting to do so for the last year or two, but you know how life happens! But the time seemed right, so I contacted Partners for mental Health http://www.partnersformh.ca/ They have what is called a Community Correspondence which gives me another opportunity to speak up and campaign to help change the way people think about mental illness. Sounds like a good fit for me. So I contacted them, spoke to them and emails back and forth and here I am. I am pretty excited about this.
So, here in my first blog post and I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about me.
I live in Comox, B.C. and am a mother, a wife, a friend, writer, dragon boater, golfer, ringette player, photographer and a much loved member of my community. I also live with a mental illness and am an educator and advocate on mental illness.
I also know how scary it can be to think you have a mental illness, especially, if while growing up ones family never talked about,-even if it was an obvious issue-or if they did talk, it was always in a negative and scary way.
When I was correctly diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder ( D.I.D.) in 2003, the 1st thought that came to mind was "thank christ I'm not crazy", then that thought was immediately followed by " Wholly shit! I must be crazy!!! The only understanding I had of this condition was what I had seen in the media. I soon learned it was nothing like that, and with education and research I learned what it really was. For more of this story go to http://bc-counsellors.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/IICC-Dec2012-winter.pdf (page 28)
Since then it has been one heck of a journey and now I write and give presentations and talks to medical and nursing students, high school and college psychology students and meet with various youth groups. And one of the very 1st things I tell them is it is nothing like you see on T.V.
I do not work, I am on a disability pension,- that's another blog for another time,the mentally ill fighting the government for a disability pension one paid into- so I can freely be open and talk about my illness and advocate around mental illness. I have nothing to loose, no job etc. Unfortunately it is not like that for everyone.
Yes, I know it can be scary to talk about it, but I truly believe that with open and respectful dialogue we can all come to a better understanding of what mental illness is really like, and why we need to be concerned about ones mental health, even if you don't have a mental illness. By doing this, I can help reduce the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding mental illness, one person at a time.
I have had a few people say to me-( I now understand out of their own fear)- "you're just opening a Pandora's Box." It may seem like that to them, but I also know, first hand, what its like to grow up in a household where one or more of the family members have an undiagnosed mental illness. We all payed the cost, and some of us continue to pay for it to this day. And like Pandora's box, while all the focus was on what came out of the box and trying to deal with that,, or ignoring it, very few people looked and saw in the corner that thing that keeps me going. Hope!
And I hope that's what this blog does, to bring hope to others and to help educate what mental illness is really all about and slowly start to chip away at the stigma, misunderstandings and misconceptions that we all deal with.
Those are my thoughts for today.
Cheers and be well