Learning about the experiences of others can help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and give those who are suffering the courage to seek help. Remember, you are not alone.
Will I fully come to the surface? Will my true self give into this dark beast inside of me? I will not allow it. For everyday I have shown how I can overcome even a small battle against it, I WILL overcome this. And so can you. Speak up, call out till you are blue in the face if you have to, show how you aren’t a sufferer but a SURVIVOR. If you can even do the smallest thing like getting out of bed and do one thing that your brain tells you that you can’t. Know, that you are fighting it, you have conquered that part and you WILL come out of the darkness.
I am speaking out today for all the children who should never have to watch their moms fall apart and feel like they don’t matter… As a child of a woman who wasn’t strong enough to deal with things on her own, but didn’t have anyone to lean on. I am speaking out today, as a child of someone who SHOULD have had support. I am speaking out today because my mom lost her life to depression! She missed my graduation, she missed my wedding, and she will never see the smiles on her grandbabies face.
As a writer, this has probably been the toughest story for me to write. Although, I wish I could erase the memories, I know that my story will help other people understand mental illness, and, most importantly, I will help people realize that their not alone. My story begins with the darkness; the darkness that overcomes your world, clouds your mind, and develops into hopelessness.
I’m proud of BringChange2Mind for helping to end the stigma of PTSD, which has lingered in my family long after my grandfather’s death in 1967, when I was a 7 year old boy. This is the first time I, or any of my family as far as I know, have ever shared this story outside of our family inner circle. It has hovered over us in many, many ways and still exists. End the stigma!
In my household growing up, I have come to realize that there were more things not discussed than were ever talked about. Most of these topics left out of conversations would be the basics of our lives. Items like how I REALLY felt about something, problems from a parent’s childhood that were left unspoken, the ability to sit down and talk about something that was a TABOO item.
My life has new meaning now. No longer am I competitive. Now, I fight stigma. I tell my story. There is so much misunderstanding about schizophrenia, and many people fear and even criminalize those afflicted. I hope one day, I can share my musical gifts with my clients so as to enrich their lives. I cannot do so now, as music is still a painful trigger. But I am optimistic about the future. I have rebuilt my life thus far, and expect to do even more so in the future.