Well, 4 hours ago I went public and posted a link to this blog on my Facebook and the world didn’t come crumbling down around me. Not yet, anyway. No one has unfriended me. In fact, people have been really kind and supportive, which has been a really amazing feeling.
I was so terrified to begin writing again, especially about something so intimate. Let’s face it, being diagnosed with paranoid thoughts probably doesn’t help that concern. I know that not everyone is going to react positively (It is the Interwebs, after all), but I’m hoping this experience will help me learn to deal with criticism in a more healthy, constructive way. In the past, I’ve let it absolutely crush me. I’ve always overvalued people’s opinions of me. I’ve let it stop me from doing a lot of things. It’s made me afraid to stand out, which is weird because as a kid, my report cards from school always noted that I was a ‘show pony’ or my favourite, ‘class clown’. It’s probably hard for the people I went to school with to imagine me as a highly anxious introvert but I guess as I got older, I retreated inward and was less inclined to take up space, or be seen and heard.
I think a lot of it had to do with the manifestation and progression of my mental illness, and a general lack of confidence that I’d always managed to hide by overcompensating with over the top antics. But I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’ve been encouraged by a couple of friends of mine who have recently started blogging about their own experiences with mental illness. I’ve been inspired by their courage and candor. It’s not easy to open yourself up to judgement, but they’ve been so strong and I admire them so much. I just want to live with less fear and this is one step towards that.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me. It means more than you could imagine.