The thing is, every one has a story -whether they're just developing any type of disorder, have had one for X amount of months or years, used to have one, knows someone else with a mental illness, or just about their healthy life - and they're all very, very long. So, where exactly do you kick off?
Even when you've decided where to begin, it's hard to actually put that all on paper. It's personal, it's your life and everything that's involved in making that up - emotions, actions, memories, people.
Finally, when do you start?! It's been a few days since I created this blog; I kept thinking"'should I start when I'm in the moment or when I'm calm? Now or later?" I feel, well, relatively okay at the moment, which in some ways is good - I have an almost clear head, I can think about what I'm going to say and hopefully won't write anything on impulse that I'm later going to regret or disagree with!
I think this is the best way to introduce this blog, however, I want to mention that, unless particularly harmful in any way, I am aiming to not delete anything from here once it's been posted. This enables people to read my thoughts and feelings at that specific time. Now this definitely isn't to say I will always feel and think the way I have spoken in my blog, but as this blog is about mental illness, I don't want to shy away from people seeing the real me, whether that be on a high, a low, or somewhere kind of in between! I'd rather give my opinions on a previous post in a new post, and discuss how things have changed (or stayed the same!) depending on my current mood and ability to see things clearly.
I think it's important for people to see what it's like when people are experiencing mental health problems - not just hearing about the aftermath. Earlier this year, I was feeling pretty confident about the shift in negative attitudes towards mental illness, I even conducted a piece of work showing a decrease in stigma. Now, I have to admit, my opinion has slightly changed on this. It's recently seemed to me that, although an individual may believe they have no negative attitudes towards mental health, and it may be true that they have no prejudices, when some are faced with the actual behaviours (rather than just the information) of those with mental illnesses, they do discriminate against or think negatively towards that person.
This is all for my first post, and I'll touch more on this subject in later posts, but I'd like to make a final point surrounding the difficult challenges of writing a blog on mental illness. I have various mental health issues and so all reading can be assured anything I write will be meant in the politest, least offensive way. Having said this, different individuals prefer and dislike certain words; for instance, the term "suffering from a mental illness" is sometimes not welcomed due to the word 'suffer'. I personally am not offended by this, yet I can see and understand why some people do not like this term. I welcome and urge readers to message or comment on anything they feel should be reviewed by myself that could or has caused offence - and if this has been the case, I of course apologise in advance!