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To the community, thank you

By Jessica Patton

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Hey SNW community,

Jessica here, just wanted to say a little something. Today marks the first anniversary/birthday/year of badassness of SNW and I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all of you who have contributed. Without you, the community section literally would not exist. And I mean, literally.

For those of you who don’t know me, I act as the managing editor of the community section of SNW, and it has been one of the proudest roles of my life.

The idea of the section stemmed from how therapeutic it was for me to write out my thoughts and feelings and to see my life in words. The biggest thing for me was to make sense of everything going on in my mind. I suffer from social anxiety and depression and the hardest part, other than just flat-out being able to cope with my everyday life, has been to explain to those I love and those around me, what exactly mental illness means/entails.

I also wanted to find the best way to knock the stigma down bit by bit, each time throwing it the middle finger and giving it a big ol’ fuck you.

This past year, we’ve seen stories of sadness, of loss, and of grief, but we’ve also seen countless pieces of inspiration, of understanding, and of growth. We’ve seen stories from sufferers, but also from caregivers and outsiders. We’ve seen stories from women and men of all ages and backgrounds. Some of you have contributed after coming to one of our events or from seeing a Landsblog. The best is when you have contributed after being inspired by someone else’s story.

The most rewarding part of this whole process has been seeing how much was already being done to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness, whether it be through personal blogs, motivational speaking, or not-for-profit organizations already setup, people are doing so much and there is no end in sight. This fight is the real deal.

I could ramble on for hours, or I guess, in this sense, for paragraphs, about the community section and how great all of you are and how much you mean to all of us here at SNW – but sappiness isn’t really our style.

So I figured the next best step would be to highlight some pieces from the past year.

From mother and daughter duo, Debbie and Shay:
Through the grey
Through the eyes of a parent

From David, a continuous community contributor:
Monster in me

From Vivian:
I am Vivian

From Brian, who we met at our event in Peterborough (and even has a SNW tattoo!)
Dear SNW

From Mitch:
F*** you, anxiety

From Matt:
“It’s okay to occasionally fake a smile, but it’s not dangerous to show a frown.”
The Mask

And our first ever community story from Clive:
Black

It’s been a hell of a year, here’s to 50+ more!

We’re all SNW.

Jessica

If you want to share your story, visit the “tell your story” section on the website and fill out the form. Or you can email me directly at jessica.patton@sicknotweak.com to get the guidelines.

 

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