I have dealt with mental illness since I was a kid. First, through my mom in my upbringing and her battles with depression, and then myself from about eleven up. I’m well into my thirties now and still navigating my way through it. I know I’m not alone and I know others suffer as well. I want to make sure those people know they aren’t alone either. We all deserve some undivided attention, and I’m here to give you mine.
SaneSideOut is about vulnerability and honesty. The goal is to help people understand what mental illness looks like from the inside out -the reason for always showing our “Sane Side” so to speak. I want to bridge the gap between those with mental illness and those that are able to look on the bright side. It’s about the parts no one sees or wants to talk about. It’s about the shame felt or embarrassment that keeps us from being truly completely honest with those around us and ourselves, and why sometimes positive messages might have the opposite intended effect.
Positivity and positive messages are amazing but in a lot of cases won’t help a clinically depressed, mentally ill, or bipolar person. They can cause feelings of weakness or inferiority, and bring on periods of isolation from interactions for fear of being looked at as ‘complainers’ who enjoy wallowing in misery and feeling sorry for themselves. They make us replay or rehearse every single interaction we have. Over and over and over, wondering what we could have done, what we could do, or what we should say, or what we can change. Sometimes it’s crippling. They make us wonder what’s wrong with us and why we can’t be like everyone else and just CHOOSE to be happy. They make us feel alienated at times. They make us feel like a burden.
We don’t want pity, we just want understanding, acceptance, and patience when we can’t explain what’s going on. We just want a place to go where people might “get it”. Most of all, we want to be able to stop pretending things are ok when they aren’t without worrying about the burden we are placing on others or how we will be perceived as complainers or self pitying. Positive messages are filled with great intentions and love but they can also be really alienating to some.
I know that sounds weird and it’s hard to understand but again, mental illness isn’t easy to understand. We want to be able to stop showing our “sane side”. We want to be honest. We want to be frank and open. Sometimes, we just want to tell our story and be heard. You can tell yours here. I’ll continue to tell mine in the most realistic and honest way I can. Maybe I haven’t been open enough yet, but I’m working on it. You are not alone. We are all different but we are not unique.