I'm not good with videos and I wanted to make a response to Sim Willey on his extremely courageous video he posted to his Twitter timeline. So, I am writing a response blog post. It's time we take a serious look at our Mental Health and Ending The Stigma on not only mental health issues but HIV positive statuses as well. (Disclaimer: Sam, if you read this and would like it taken down, please let me know. I never want to use anything without permission)
There is an issue with mental health around the world, as if people don't take it seriously. As if having a mental health issue is almost laughed upon, it can't happen, it's not real.
I know of someone who went to the ER in our city, talking to the nurses that he needed a bed because he was tempted to kill himself. You know what he was told? We'll give you some medication, but you'll need to go home. We don't have any beds for you. What the hell is this? Someone comes into the emergency room to talk to someone about killing himself and instead of doing anything helpful, you send him home. When are you going to have a bed? When he actually goes through with it and kills himself? He won't need a bed then, he'll need a casket.
Sam's video is powerful, courageous and something that needs to be sent out to the world. With his video, I've been able to really hold myself accountable on getting my life and my mental health figured out. I will be making an appointment with a doctor tomorrow, I will be going to try and see a physiatrist and I will be trying to find medication that works for me.
I have clinical depression. These last few months have been the worst, my mood has never climbed over a 6/10 since January 25, 2018. Some days (like yesterday), I went to bed at 8pm and didn't wake up until 10 the next morning because I was at a solid 1/10 on the emotional scale. I've had suicidal thoughts constantly for the last few months, I've constantly thought about what it would be like to just end it all, my life could be so much better.
I also suffer from anxiety. Some of the simplest tasks actually send me into a panic attack. Grocery shopping? I have to go on a Monday night right before close, make sure the parking lot is empty to try and get in. Some of the time, I'll sit in my car and realise, even if it's an hour before close, what will the employees think of me as I go in so late? How bad will they be judging me? Will they mock me to my face?
When I had a job, I had to be there at least a half hour before. What would happen if I didn't get there in time? I would have a few blown panic attack, hyperventilation and sometimes, I would even start crying. It was so bad, I would get ready and leave almost two hours before I worked. Want to know how far I lived from work? a 5 minute drive. So I would sit in my car and wait, and wait and wait because I had to be there, RIGHT NOW.
I have social anxiety, but this is the only one I think is under control. I have a hard time with certain things and honestly, I think about things way after they happen. I don't speak up much, because the thought of someone disagreeing with me terrifies me to the point sometimes I just don't talk. Ordering a coffee? I don't want to make it to complicated so the person behind the counter doesn't judge me. A friend speaks negatively about something I did? I shut down and just nod my head. Someone yells at me and tells me a problem is all my fault? I throw up. This only happens sometimes and sometimes, my depression acts up and I get so annoyed with people, I fight back. That's how I think this is under control.
The stigma around mental health needs to change. Below, I'll post a picture of something that speaks to me in volumes. A friend shared it on facebook one time and I really thought it was genius of someone to draw.
I need my twitter friends to do like Sam and let their voices be heard. The more people that rally around #EndTheStigma the better. Talk with people, engage with your friends and let it be known we need to take mental health seriously.
We also need to end the stigma about HIV positive status. I myself, am negative but it shouldn't be a harmful thing to be positive. I support all those that are HIV positive and I respect them for the immense amount of courage it takes to come out publicly.
Sam, I respect you. Thank you for sharing your story so others may share theirs, including me. I have your back. You're beautiful and deserve the same respect everyone else gets. Peace be with you, my friend.
Some people out there say you shouldn't put a blog on your website, it looks "unprofessional". Fuck that. I'm writing all the blog posts. From happy book release information to sad stuff in my life. Welcome to my blog. Get to know my personality, not just my writing.