• Michelle Partington

Speaking from experience.

I think it’s safe to say I have been pretty open in my blog entries and some of you may perhaps say ‘a little too open’. I don’t think I could ever be too open.

Mental health sadly remains a taboo subject. It remains so for 2 reasons: Those sufferring with this illness are too embarrassed to talk about it for fear of rebuke, and those who don’t understand it. It is still under supported by ‘the system’, and there is still a lack of acknowledgement that mental illness is as serious and important as cancer, heart disease, dementia, amputation and many more physical ailments. Very little education is delivered around these illnesses so it remains an enigma amongst, society, friends, family and sufferer’s alike.

If we (the suffer) don’t speak out about the journey we have, and continue to travel on then how can others understand. We have to be open about what we are going through, the triggers, emotions, symptoms, the embarressing moments, the dark times when we have not wanted to carry on and everything that goes along with a mental illness. Being completely open and brutally honest about everything may provide an opportunity for others to relate to some or all of our journey.

My blog has been on the go since Sept 14 and I have been humbled by the feedback, questions and openness of others. Those I know and others I don’t know sharing their own personal journeys with me either directly to my blog or private messages. I have been able to help so many but please know also that by receiving the mass of response I have, you have also truly helped me. You have provided me with the knowledge I am not alone in what is happening to me. You have opened my eyes to the magnitude of sufferers of mental illness there is out there. I have been blessed by the knowledge my blog has helped others to open up but also to accept they need further intervention in order to find a balance in their lives.

Living with a mental illness is not easy on its own. With a distinct lack of understanding and support out there this makes things worse. Talking to others really has helped me to come to terms with my illness so I urge you all to speak out. Trust me, you will be surprised at just how many know where you are coming from. We are not alone in what we are going through and neither should we be. Knowing someone you are close to, or someone in your workplace also suffers, or has sufferred from some form of mental illness is a real comfort. It means you have an outlet. You may have been on different journeys but you will have walked along similar tracks. It’s a weight off your shoulders knowing you have someone there….

Speaking out about our illness aids education, understanding and mutual support to others who may feel they are alone. Mental illness affects many people of any age, background, social standing, profession and so on. The more aware people become the more acceptable it will become. Mental illness is real, its hidden behind a fake smile, behind silent lips. Let’s keep communicating.


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