I haven't posted anything for a while, probably about a month. I feel like I've lost my voice and confidence in writing. I could say it's been about being busy, and while I have been, I've also been avoiding my blog. As a matter of fact, I've been questioning whether I would just quit doing my blog altogether. I'm not going to. Something happened in the last week that has reminded me a bit about why I write. So here I am, writing again.
I was having a conversation with a friend and they brought up the topic of my blog. They thanked me for writing and told me they had some mental health struggles of their own that they are starting to get help with, but they are not ready to be open about it. They also told me that when they read what I write it's like I am inside their head writing their thoughts. I really needed to hear that. I know it's important to feel good about myself without the affirmation of others, but sometimes I just really need to hear that what I'm doing is helpful. It's hard to write things and not get any feedback, not know if anyone is reading it or getting anything out of it.
This helped me remember one of the main reasons I write, and that is to let others know they are not alone. Being out in the open now it's easy to forget how isolating it can be to suffer alone. Heck, it's unbearably painful at times living openly. And I guess that is my point. In this conversation I had with my friend they mentioned several times that they didn't want to tell people because of the judgment they would face. Battling any mental health issues is hard work, and adding the need to keep it from people can be so isolating and painful. So even if people don't come out in the open, just knowing someone can relate and understands can make a big difference. I know it does for me, and if my blog can do that for others than it is worth it.
But I don't only write for others, I also write for myself. Living with depression and anxiety means that it's easy for me to want to crawl back in my shell when things get difficult. It's easy to lose my confidence and not want to keep putting myself out there. That's where I've been for a bit. Putting things out to the world helps take the shame away from me, and helps me feel more connected.
In the spirit of putting things out there, I will share two things with you. I'll start with a challenge and finish with some exciting news. Today I'm feeling horrible. Tomorrow the family goes back to work and school, and the dread is weighing on me today. This has been a challenging year for both of my kids, and the weekly routine and homework battles have been much more stressful than normal. While I love my job and have an amazing class of 4th graders this year, there is increased stress there as well with massive changes and a lack of leadership and support from the district I work for. I know I'll be fine once I get going on the routine, but for today it's dread and a complete lack of energy to do anything.
Despite my current mood, I also have good news as well. I submitted an application yesterday to be part of a speakers bureau for Stop Stigma Sacramento. I am not familiar with how it all works exactly, but I know that members of the speakers bureau share their stories at schools, businesses and other places in order to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. I'm terrified of this, but I know my fear will not decrease until I just do it. So I will. I'm not sure how quickly it will come together, but I'm excited to have taken that first step of submitting my application. In the meantime, I'll continue to remember and trust that I can do this. Not only that, but I know it will open new doors for me and help me grow and heal.