Why such hesitancy?

It has been a dream and an ambition of mine to begin a blog.  I have finally done so in the past few weeks.  Signing up on WordPress ignited an elation and sense of accomplishment within me, and I reveled in the joy of finally realizing a longterm goal of mine.  Such joy and elation should have been quite the impetus to begin posting right away, sharing my thoughts and emotions with a sense of urgency and determination, right?  No.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Within me brewed such hesitancy, and my newfound bravery wavered.  How could such determination dissipate with rapidity to be replaced by fear?

Perhaps what comes into play in my hesitancy is the rampant stigma surrounding mental illness in our society.  Yes, it certainly exists, and with such a ferocity that deeply ravages and makes difficult the lives of those suffering from mental illness.  I have been open about my diagnosis – Bipolar 1 Mixed – with some people and institutions in my life while desperately shielding and hiding it from others.  How do I decide with whom I will share my diagnosis?  The answer rests in two factors – necessity and deep trust.  I must share my diagnosis with schools in order to survive academic life while fighting to not succumb to a tragic and life-threatening illness.  And then there are those I trust with such depth that I am comfortable in sharing such a private component of my life.  Disclosing suffering from a mental illness is a difficult, important, and necessary action to contemplate for all of those afflicted by mental illness.  I have suffered on many occasions the effects of stigma, and it certainly is an unpleasant and dehumanizing experience.

Opening myself to this blog, sharing my experiences of madness and a lifetime of instability, is another step of disclosure in my life.  I am sharing my diagnosis and experiences with my friends, my community, and the world.  The contemplation of with whom and whom I will not disclose my mental illness to is no longer relevant.  This is, in fact, quite a terrifying thought.  I am relinquishing my control and decision to disclose my illness to the tangled world that is the Internet.  So you can see my hesitancy in beginning this blog.  I realize that this can be an important tool in raising awareness of mental illness and issues affecting society, an important tool in reaching out and providing support to others experiencing mental illness, and also an opportunity for growth and catharsis for myself.  Hopefully I can once again muster my initial excitation and bravery and continue to post in this blog.  Such is my ardent intent.

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10 comments

  1. Congratulations on taking the first step and overcoming your hesitancy. I too am no stranger to mental illness as I have schizophrenia and bouts of depression and anxiety. Keep on blogging.

  2. Beautiful Alex! I’m so thankful for your willingness to start this blog, I see it being an effective way to help those with mental illnesses as well as those without learn to understand each other in a healthy space.

  3. I think what you are doing is great. I have gone through a LOT of stuff and I have found that writing has been an amazing coping mechanism for me. When I started blogging I was also hesitant, thinking, “What do I really have to share with the world? How is this going to help anybody?” But what I found is not only did my story seem to inspire people, blogging helped me move past all the gloom and doom of my past. I look forward to hearing what else you have to say. 🙂

    1. Abby, I also have found writing to bring great solace and a way to heal. If possible, I would love to read your blog 🙂 I miss you dearly, and I hope you are well and happy at your new college! And thank you so much for the comment.

  4. My dearest Alex!!
    Your brutal honesty and your amazing thoughts and words are a true inspiration!!! I applaud you for sharing with others your life and innermost thoughts!!! We all need each other!!! And we all suffer in our own ways and it is soooooo important to reach out!!!
    You are my hero Alex!!!!
    I love you soooooo much!!!!!!
    Xo Maureen

    1. Oh Maureen, thank you! I love you beyond words. I am touched that you find me to be an inspiration. You have been an inspiration to me my entire life, and I am so thankful. I love you, Michael, and Natalie so much. Please be well and know that I am always thinking of ya!

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