First and foremost, because I care, and believe wholeheartedly that the more we talk about such publicly “uncomfortable” matters, the more comfortable it’s only gonna get.
Image taken by me; Austin TX / June 2016
I’m inspired by the likes of Hannah Gadsby and Cameron Esposito who are sending powerful messages – that more people need to share their “too personal” stories; more people need to realise the issues behind the detrimental emotions and psychological costs these individuals endure; more people need to “get in the way” of people turning a blind eye and letting these issues get swept under the carpet.
I’m inspired by my beautiful friend L., who I love dearly and have such a strong bond with, while understanding the reality that I would never be able to truly know what it’s like to deal with her mental disorder. I want people to stop being afraid of the mere mention of “mental disorder” or “mental illness”, as I have the honour and blessing to be such close friends with someone that manages one. I’m proud to share that she’s one of the kindest, funniest, most determined, generous, hardworking, stylish and emotionally intelligent people I know. I want individuals like herself to live in a world where the focus lies on all the wonderful things she is and can do; where instead of feeling any need to hide her mental health experiences, she knows that everyone is rooting for her progress – the way we root for people that want to manage their physical illnesses and disorders.
I don’t live with a disorder, nor have I lived through any hardship or trauma. However I want to be part of this conversation because my heart breaks for the ones that do; the ones that have to contain these experiences within themselves and their homes as they worry people will distance themselves, or reduce them to this one aspect of their life if things come to light. I want for us to open up our hearts, remember our own pains, and ask ourselves what we wished for when we felt it: I’m sure we hoped for it to go away, and perhaps for someone to show up, embrace and assure us that it’s okay. I want us to remember the moments we felt lonely – when no one checked in, no one understood, no one bothered to ask. I want us to realise that just because we got over it, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t fucking hurt at the time. Please embrace others; bother to ask.