I’m stepping up to defeat mental illness!
The CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health challenge is a Canada-wide challenge to inspire hope for Canadians living with mental illness.
I took the #OneBraveNight challenge because I want to inspire hope for people living with mental illness now – and to defeat mental illness. By making a donation to my One Brave Night, you are helping CAMH improve access to care, conduct research to find better treatments, and build more spaces for healing.
Here’s my story...
If your reading this, you probably know that I’m not the type of person to fundraise or typically speak out when it comes to raising awareness. With that being said I decided to participate in One Brave Night firstly for myself, and secondly anyone else who suffers from a mental illness. Personally I’ve suffered with severe depression as long as I can remember. I appear to be outgoing, always cracking jokes, and just overall happy when initially meeting me, but I’ve always had this overwhelming feeling of anger and sadness that I could never give an explanation too. I just figured I hated the world, I didn’t like many people, and wasn’t someone who thought to highly of themselves. This being the case, I went down an avenue of numbing every feeling I had with drugs. If I was sad, I wanted to get high. If I was “happy” I wanted to get high. I used to say I don’t understand why a human wouldn’t want to be high, why wouldn’t you want to feel a bliss of absolute nothingness. I felt unstoppable when I was high because I blocked off every feeling, essentially feeling untouchable. I find this ironic now because after years of denying anti-depressants from my doctor and psychiatrist for the reason of “not wanting the medication to change me or how I acted, I didn’t want to admit to myself that I needed medication to feel okay. Yet that’s exactly what I was doing with drugs, masking the real me with this false image that opiates always gave me. I knew if I wanted to be successful with staying clean, that I needed to address my mental health and begin to take it seriously. I now take anti depressants and I couldn’t tell you how my life would be without them. I do know it would’ve continued me down a destructive path all because I didn’t want to believe I needed help. I was so stubborn I used to say I would rather be a raging lunatic then to put another medication into my body. I can now say after a couple years of trial and error to find a medication that worked well for me personally, I am now the happiest internally that I’ve ever felt.
I used to say to myself daily - do I really need to be here? Because I wouldn’t miss feeling this way one bit. I wouldn’t worry anyone anymore, i wouldn’t be the problem child, the disappointment I felt I was to so many of those in my life. If I ended it all I would be eternally at peace, for once. My brain would be shut down, for once. I would be mentally free... for once. But I could never get myself to do it, causing me to continue to not give a single fuck about my drug use and would always push the limits of what I would take, dreaming of an overdose. As I type those words, I feel so saddened that I ever let myself get that deep into the darkness that I would pray I would somehow, someway, have my life end. So I guess that’s what made me do this, to share my story. To let others know that mental illness is not a joke, that your life is something to be lived. I was fortunate to have a couple close people in my life who would remind me of that, and for that I’m forever grateful. It’s okay to feel, it’s okay to need to help sometimes. And finally it’s OK, to not be OK.
To anyone who took the time to read this, thank you. If you ever need someone to talk to, stranger or not, I am MORE THEN OK to listen.