The stigma that exists around mental health and mental illness has controlled a lot of my life. It has controlled the timeline of my decision to share my own story and to post blog articles related to mental health. It kept me silent for years. In the past year though when I decided to share my story and my life I felt as though stigma no longer existed. I shared my story online and was met by an overwhelming and startlingly large amount of support. Sharing my story has been among the best decisions I have made in my life. And as I moved through the year that followed, I felt as though I had not faced any backlash from sharing my truth and that stigma must be on its way out.
I mentioned in my last post that as I entered the new year I had scheduled the articles that would go up in January and February. Around Christmastime I was talking with one of my friends at home and she was asking me about my blog and my plans for the year and asked to hear what articles were on the horizon. I shared my ideas with her and she asked me if I could write an article about being alone on Valentine’s Day. I told her, without really thinking about it, that I would. But as the past month has come and gone and I have thought more and more about an article about Valentine’s Day I’ve found myself at a loss for words.
This blog turns one tomorrow. That feels pretty crazy to me.
I was scrolling through my blog this morning and re-reading some of my old posts. Eventually I reached the very end of my feed and came across the article that I debuted this site with. It’s titled what you have to say matters. It is, at least to me, a kind of bizarre experience to re-read your own words and to be struck by them the way this article struck me this morning. I had written the article to share with other people yet this morning it felt like someone else had written it just for me.
Laughing too late. We’ve all done it. We didn’t quite get the joke at the same time everyone else did. We may have laughed along but we didn’t know what was so funny. And then when we finally did get the joke we were torn – do we laugh late and let everyone know we missed the point the first time? Or do we stuff our laughter back inside of us and move on? We really don’t think about laughing too late too seriously. In practice it doesn’t seem all that awkward or embarrassing. But what about other feelings? Feelings we don’t feel “at the right time.” What are we doing about those?
Today is the first day of a new you. Isn’t it? January 1st, 2018. It’s a brand new year. New year, new you. That is the promise that you made yourself. Wasn’t it? That despite the fact that you woke up on yet another January 1st with a champagne hangover and remnants of glittery makeup down your cheek that this year would be different.
We need to stop joking about suicide.
I’m going to say it again.
We need to stop joking about suicide.
Before I go any further I want to preface this article by admitting that I am definitely guilty of tossing “lol kill me” around. So this “we” in the sentences above, includes me too. I am calling myself out as much as I am calling out anyone else. I need to do better.
Kill me now. I’m going to kill myself. Ugh KMS.
We toss these around when we are having a bad day. When we are stressed about school work. When we are stuck in an embarrassing moment. When the printer is out of paper and we are running late. Somewhere along the line we decided it was acceptable to threaten suicide in order to ease tension or express temporary frustration. Somehow, suicide has become a mood.
I started this blog because I wanted a space that would be completely in my control. I wanted a small corner of the internet that could look however I wanted it to and to talk about anything at all. I love that this blog is a jumble of thoughts and questions and talks about serious stuff in one post and goofy stuff in the next. But sometimes I get a little too caught up and anxious about maintaining this “randomness”. At times I am too preoccupied with writing articles on a range of topics that I fail to write the articles that are the most personal and really matter to me.
So I started this blog almost eight months ago, and to me, that seems pretty crazy. Even though I wrote for The Odyssey Online for a few months before launching my own site, the writing I have done on this blog is more personal. And especially in these past couple of months, as people have continued to read the blog and learn a little bit more about me, I have faced numerous questions about privacy.
How does it feel knowing everyone knows everything about you?
I was certainly no stranger to camp when I walked into Ramaquois for the first time last summer – I had been a camper at a different camp for 8 years and worked at another camp for 2 years. I knew Ramaquois was going to be different from my previous camp experiences but a part of me still thought that camp was camp was camp and yeah it would be different but like how different could it really be?