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True passions burn brighter than fire

Guest Author: Charlotte

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

I am a mental health advocate.

It’s not something that I ever planned to do but I sort of fell into it and it felt so natural so it stuck. I have found that helping people has in turn helped me and it is so rewarding to know that you have made that little bit of difference to a person’s day. I believe I will continue to be an advocate for as long as I can, even when I am a little old lady – that won’t stop me. True passions burn brighter than fire.

However, having people know who I am does feel strange. I have grown up and spent most of my life being very lonely. I was always bullied or living in the shadows of my peers and siblings. Always picked last for activity’s and often forgotten about. Inside, I still feel like this same child, just screaming and wanting to be noticed.

I am so used to being this person who was breathing but not living

It does feel nice to see my platform grow and reach more people because it means I can raise more awareness and help those in need. But then there are days, when I don’t know how to deal with this exposure. I am so used to being this person who was breathing but not living – it’s hard to come out of. It can be overwhelming when your life is completely flipped on its head, though in this case the change isn’t a bad thing, at all.

Because of the events in my life, I am extremely hard on myself and my insecurities shine through on even the worst days. I once spoke to a therapist and told them how much I felt like I was wasting my life and being worthless for not being able to work. I told her about what I had done since I lost my job, my books and my advocacy and she gave me this look. She told me how I had done so much and more than some ‘sane’ people can achieve in years. But the thing is, to me I don’t see it like that, I always feel like I am not doing enough, that I am failing – it’s funny how abuse continues to hurt you after it’s ended.

The bravery is just what feels second nature to me

When people call me ‘brave’ or ‘inspirational’, I find it hard to see what they see. It is always lovely to be complimented, although I never know how to respond because I am not used to being praised. The work I do is because I have been hurt so much, that I felt like something needed to change and I could only trust myself to make that change. The bravery is just what feels second nature to me and I certainly don’t want anyone to feel as alone and broken as I did, no one deserves that.

I believe what I am trying to say, is that I may come across like this strong and recovered mental health advocate. But really, what many don’t see, is that I have bad days very often. I am always pushing myself to do so much that I get ill and most days I don’t even leave the bed. I am toying constantly between wanting to change the world and finding a dark cave to live in.

Even people who look brave, who seem strong, suffer and struggle with their mental health. We all have mental health and it impacts all of us every single day. It’s so important to remember that you are not alone, so if you are jealous of that celebrity who seems to have it all – remember that they are human and they may struggle just as much, some of us just hide it from fear of judgement.

No one is immune to mental health, it never has and never will discriminate.

I am always very honest about my feelings, I will always be candid because that is the way that I believe we can destroy this stigma by giving real on honest information and experiences. Though I do always worry about the response and if I may upset anyone.

No one is immune to mental health, it never has and never will discriminate. There is no need to feel bad for the days that you cannot leave the bed or if you haven’t showered for days, because I’m with you in that boat, just like many others. The only thing that ever matters is that you keep fighting, that you keep waking up and trying your best, if you can do that then that is recovery and success.

Comments

Medz
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Were you in a normal state when you became an advocate?

Patrick
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This is inspiring.I have gone through unemployment over the last six months and the going has been tough.I have to keep fighting and am considering the path of mental health advocacy.

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