Advice · Personal

It’s Okay

Woof. What a weekend.

I celebrated my birthday among friends, food, and a suitable amount of nerf guns, candy, etc.—yes, I am a grown-ass man. So mature—and a heaping helping of D&D, World of Warcraft, and a special appearance by the cake from Portal.

14600873_10209397372589161_2106838591219813276_nYou’re damn right it was a triumph.

As such, I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on, so there’s no new Writober offering for you today. Instead, I’m gonna leave you with a writing prompt at the end of the article for you to try your hand at. Beyond this, I’m going to be cooking up this month’s wallpaper for Patreon supporters. It’s gonna be an ode to one of my favorite aspects of the season: Classic Horror.

But let’s talk shop about World Mental Health Day for a bit, as it’s an issue that’s near and dear to my heart.

For those of you just tuning in—welcome! Bar is to your left, bouncy castle to your right, and make yourselves at home—it’s a dear subject to me as I suffer both from bipolar disorder and anxiety, for which I take medication.

And that’s okay. I am not broken.

I say that because it’s important that you understand this adage; this paramount point of self-identification. I believe in it, and I want those of you out there who are dealing with your own battles to believe it too.

It’s okay. You are not broken.

Part of my personal push in support of mental health and raising awareness is also dealing with the overriding stigma that pervades our dialogue concerning it. It’s become a bit better as we open more doors and shine a light on the issues relating to mental health, but we’ve still a long ways to go.

There’s an instant reaction to confessing an illness that usually brings on one of two modes: either you’re handled with the lightest touch, or you’re inundated with dismissive advice.

14633092_703911549769966_6584288443782046193_n.jpg

Yeah. Editorial oversight was thankfully employed.

I’ve seen it come up on job applications. I’ve dealt with it from trolls, well-meaning but poorly informed friends, and—yes, sadly—outright hurtful commentary from members of my own family.

But, regardless of this, I know in my heart that I’m not broken, and all of the noise largely stems from that pervasive stigma we as a society still harbor when it comes to mental health issues.

And frankly, it has to stop. But first it has to stop with you. Your mind is already playing merry hob with your self-image, self-worth, and just yourself as a whole, and you need to stop feeding it more fuel for that hateful engine.

So, begin with yourself. Do you have a mental illness? I do.

It’s okay. You are not broken.

Do you take medication to help you get through the day? So do I.

It’s okay. You are not broken.

Sometimes, do you still struggle to do what others consider simple tasks? Same here.

It’s okay. You are not broken.

Do others make you feel strange and alien because of social stigma? I hear ya. I’ve got stories.

It’s okay. You are not broken.

With all you struggle through, push through, and fight against, do you sometimes feel isolated? Listen:

You are not alone. It’s okay. WE are not broken.

Take that to heart. It’s not a fix, it’s not a cure-all, but the first step begins with ourselves. We are not sullied, rejects, or emissaries from the isle of misfit toys. We’re people dealing with an illness, no different or malicious than those dealing with diseases that afflict other parts of the body.

And like those that deal with their own illnesses, you are a goddamned badass for fighting every single day, and living your life to the fullest of your abilities. No one can take that from you unless you allow it. No one can gainsay that accomplishment, particularly if they’ve not lived it.

You’re not broken. You’re beautiful. Believe it, even for a moment, and it’s another victory over the Universe itself. And that, champion, is a high honor, indeed.

Which bring us to today’s writing prompt for you to digest in your spare time. I want you to write a short story, or a long story, but a story all the same concerning you. Write the epic yarn about one person who thinks themselves small, but who wins through against an overpowering moment of opposition.

Tell me a story about when you triumphed. More importantly, be willing to tell it to yourself.

That’s all from me for today. I’ve got coffee to down, and worlds to write.

Until next time, Horns Up.

_________

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