There was a long period in my life where I truly felt that I was crazy. I had more irrational thoughts than rational ones. I was nauseous 24/7 and constantly feared getting sick in public which only made my nausea worse. My appetite would go in waves and then my stomach would follow suit. I knew what I was feeling was anxiety but I did not know it was past my ability to control it or just how bad it really was.
In 2015 I reached a breaking point where I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. To be constantly riddled with irrational thoughts was not only causing damage to my mind and my body but was it now affecting my relationships with other people. Coming to terms within myself that I could not handle my anxiety on my own, I finally mustered up the strength to ask for help. Since then, my life has done a complete 180 and I have such a passion for helping others make that same turn.
I got the idea for #dontcallmecrazy because I was constantly calling myself crazy. I told other people I was crazy. I accepted it when other people called me it and worse, I answered to it. The more I believed it about myself the more I projected it onto other people and I felt like if I could make a joke of it or laugh it off, people wouldn't notice just how bad things really were inside of me. I know that was the wrong tactic now and I did have some people fooled. But the ones who really know me couldn't be fooled and those are the ones who ultimately gave me the strength to stop hiding and start living.
My goal with this project is to educate people on mental health. Show them that these illnesses know no gender, race, political affiliation, social class, religion, age, or country. Anyone can be suffer from one or more of these illnesses and because it can't be seen on the outside doesn't mean it isn't deeply felt on the inside. I also want those suffering to not be embarrassed by their illness and embrace it. We can't control what we have. We didn't ask for it. We were given this. And while I may not be able to control having it, I won't let it control me, my happiness or my life. It took 3 years from me. I refuse to let it take any more of my time. With that, I want it to empower people. Prior to me really understanding my illness I was embarrassed and ashamed. I didn't want anyone to know I had it let alone did I want them knowing I was treating for it. Through education and understanding, my mentality has completely shifted and I feel empowered now every time I tell someone I have anxiety. It's no longer a secret and I no longer fear the stigma's because I know who I am and no one or nothing will ever be able to shift how I view myself.
Speaking of stigma's - that's my last goal. To break the stigma's surrounding mental illness. To show people we're not crazy, we're not out of control, or weird, or awkward. Our body is a battle zone and for some, it is constantly at war. We have no control over what happens inside of us but we do have control over how we treat, help, and speak to those we see suffering.
I would love nothing more than to have your help with this project. If you are comfortable sharing your mental health journey and are interested in participating, click the button below, enter your email address and you will receive an email with further instructions. Please only participate if you feel you are in a healthy and positive space to do so. I do not want this project to be a trigger for you and only you know your limits so please, only do what you think is best for you.
For each testimony I created a statement for people to end their story with:
#dontcallmecrazy. My name is _________ and i have #__________ but it will never have me.
I want this statement to educate people. I want people to embrace the sound of it and I want it to empower those who make it. And the more voices who say it, the more ears it will be heard in, and the more minds it will take up residency in.
Join me this May during Mental Health Awareness Month to let the world know not to ever call us crazy again.
to participate in the #dontcallmecrazy project
love & light,