Over the years of posting openly about my mental health online I have had all sorts of different opinions thrown my way. Mostly positive, yes, which is great – but it seems that there’s always people out there that like to try and police or shame the way I might do things. So I’m here to address a few things today.
First of all, ‘you preach mental health but blah blah blah’. Yawn. I am open about what I struggle with online as it is a great platform for honest and open discussion. The fact that I talk about my mental illness and post tips and affirmations and other helpful ideas around mental health does not make me a fucking angel. I’m human. I fuck up, I don’t take my own advice a lot of the time and I shouldn’t owe anyone an explanation or excuse for that just because I try to help myself and others with my online content sometimes. At least I’m doing something. At least I’m trying. This one always seems to be what is thrown in my face in confrontation or similar situations and I’m so beyond done with it. I don’t paint myself as the fountain of knowledge of mental health, I am honest about what works and doesn’t work for me. The fact that I fuck up just makes me like every other human on the planet, so stop holding me to such a ridiculous standard.
Another one is that I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I come across as this loud, bubbly, outspoken giggly girl without a care in the world in person, yet I post all of this online. First of all, think about whether there is normally alcohol involved in that. Ya. Secondly, I’m not diving headfirst into ‘listen to all my problems’ to people every time I see them: if we are really friends you will have seen me have my breakdowns, you will know what I struggle with and you will have most likely been there for me when things are rough and understand that I will discuss my problems as and when I need to with people. Again, I can post what I like freely and still not owe a single explanation in person if I don’t feel like it. Period.
And finally, the nature of the content I post online is completely up to me. I post serious commentary on bad moments with my mental health and I post pictures of helpful affirmations and other similar things, but I also share a lot of dark humour relating to my mental health, which can sometimes be helpful and sometimes not. Still my choice. If I want to post about my meds, I will continue to do so without the fear of people thinking I want attention, just as I will when I might post about bad episodes and breakdowns. I am a mental health advocate, I choose to try and be open about all aspects of the journey so if you want to only see the nice flowery side then you’re shit out of luck here. I am pursuing a career in online mental health content and mental health advocacy, so I’m not holding back.
So yeah, just a short open letter today but basically, I will discuss my mental health however I like and if you don’t like it you can, frankly, fuck off.