About a month ago I decided to share a big secret about myself: I have bipolar disorder type two. It was a scary thing to share. We’ve come very far as a society in terms of how we view mental health, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve adopted the right mindset to best support the mental health of ourselves and others. It also doesn’t mean that sharing your individual story is an easy thing to do. By sharing such a big part of myself, I had to show vulnerability in a way I had never done before.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that I decided to share this part of me. The response I’ve gotten has been unanimously positive and encouraging. I’ve had so many people commend me on what they perceive to be my courage. I’ve had so many people tell me that what I did was brave and that I should be proud. It’s been overwhelming to receive such wonderful words from literally dozens of people, many of whom I don’t even know!

It was hard to share everything that I wanted to. This is particularly true, because I decided to write five posts upfront, and that took a lot out of me, both mentally and emotionally. But I am so happy that I chose to do this because it has become one of the things I’m proudest of in my entire life, and something that I am determined to continue building on because I understand how important this conversation is. I think that mental health is one of those things that often exists in the abstract – we know about it and we learned about it, but we don’t see too many individual stories being shared, especially by people we are close to.

This blog has already brought me so much joy in ways I can’t even express. The mere act of sharing was so cathartic: I finally felt like something very important about me is going to be out there in the world. It was just a sigh of relief that’s been in the making for more than a decade.

The thing that I’m happiest about is the way my work has impacted other people. I’m not trying to be arrogant – I’m not pretending like I’ve changed people’s lives – but I’ve had several people reach out to me and share their own mental health struggles that they’ve hesitated to talk about before. Others with lived experience have been so complementary because they know how hard it is to both live with, and often hide, these disorders. I feel a special relationship and connection with these people, and I feel like we’re building a little community where I hope we can support each other.

The other demographic who have reached out to me are individuals who know someone with bipolar disorder or another mental health disorder. In many ways, this group has been the most gratifying for me because many of them have said that my writing has helped them better understand their loved one’s suffering. It’s not always easy being close to someone with mental health problems, and my very loving family and friends can attest to that.

Thank you all for taking the time to read what I had to say and for continuing this journey with me. Thank you to those who took the time to share your thoughts and to complement the work. Thank you to those who reached out and shared your own story and experience. I cherish every message, and I hope you understand that I am there for anyone who needs me. Life is a difficult journey and it’s only made more difficult by mental health disorders, so know that I’m going to be there for you in any way I can be. You can email me (sanat@theworstofme.com) or message me on Instagram at any time.

I’m happy to share that I have another post you’ll find on the blog today (link below). The initial posts and the responses were very rewarding, but exhausting, so I took some time to take it all in and reflect. I’m back and I’ll be trying to share posts every 1-2 weeks from now on. I know I’m just at the starting line, but I can feel that this blog will be some of the most important work I do in my life, and I’m going to be dedicating myself to continuing this journey with you.

Enough of the mushy stuff – check out the blog post!

Image Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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