I’m terrified.

This project terrifies me; but this isn’t about just me anymore.

“Why did I say that?” “what did I do wrong?” “Why are they looking at me?” “What should I have said?” “They hate me, I know it.” “What’s the point?” “They’d be better off without me.” “Who cares.” “It doesn’t matter anyway.”

Mental illness might be one of the most important topics that we never talk about. It has most likely affected nearly everyone in some form or another either directly or indirectly. The shame and embarrassment and feelings of being a burden, breed anxiety and isolation because of the stigma that mental illness carries. This creates a vicious cycle that those of us that suffer from mental illness struggle to escape.

We walk with our “Sane Side Out” at all times. We are very careful and conscious of all our decisions and actions, and we try to appear as “normal” as we can. We hate crowds and typical day to day interactions. Interactions are difficult and take a lot of effort, and we are always inside of our own heads replaying those interactions, so we get it right the next time. Going out in public is a calculated decision, and every day is a repeat of that process.

We needed someplace to go, and we know we aren’t the only ones. We have a responsibility to each other and to those we care about. You aren’t alone. We are in this together. SaneSideOut is just as much for us as it is for you. It’s good to talk. You might find out how very surrounded you are by people like you.

We are all different, but we are not unique. You can tell your story here along with us and we can show others that its ok and they aren’t alone. The stigma and shame need to end. For those of us that cant “look at the bright side” let’s find a way to find each other in the dark so that we can find the light together. You can put your mask away, you can be your true self here.

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