Recently, Christopher Wood (who you may know as Kai on The Vampire Diaries or Mon-El on Supergirl) started IDONTMIND, a company that aims to defeat the stigma surrounding mental illness. For the past few years, I’ve had the same goal, to change how people see, think, and talk about mental illness. I’m thankful for this organization and what it stands for. Some of you may be thinking, “Why does this mean so much to you?”
Well, let me start by saying this:
I struggle with mental illness and #IDONTMIND talking about it.
I don’t mind sharing my story.
I don’t mind being honest and open about all that I continue to struggle with.
I don’t mind helping those who also struggle with mental illness.
I don’t mind admitting that I need help.
I don’t mind living my life a little differently than others.
For a long time, I hated myself because of my anxiety and depression. I thought I was being punished with mental illness while I had to sit back and watch all my “normal” family and friends live their lives freely. I kept to myself, never opened up to anyone about what was going on because I was so ashamed to have to say I struggled with mental illness. But, I finally learned to accept who and how I am and made the decision to get the help I need. To be honest, I don’t mind all the struggles I’ve worked through, because without them, I wouldn’t have this chapter in my own story.
It took a good friend of mine to tell me “It’s okay. I may not understand exactly what you’re going through, but I’ll be here every step of the way,” for me to break down the wall I’ve built. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been an easy journey since then, but I’ve grown and learned more about myself. I still struggle. I still find myself frustrated with anxiety and depression, but I’m continuously learning how I can better myself because of it.
If anyone reading this is struggling like I have (and still am), even if you ignore everything else I’ve said in this blog post, I want you to remember this:
No matter what you may think or feel, you are not alone. Find the help you need. You don’t have to live in darkness.
I’m living proof that things do get better.
Keep going. Keep fighting. Stay hopeful.
To learn more, visit IDONTMIND.com