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. Although a lot of people see me smile and succeed and think that I am fine, I struggle with anxiety as a result of trauma. I was unlucky as a child, to lose my dad and grow up in an unprotected environment.
Like many who survived trauma, I wish the scars would just vanish, and I could move on, but it has been a struggle. Like many, I blamed myself, felt ashamed and valueless, and not protecting myself against unsafe situations.
In other ways, I have been very lucky. I had great friends, skills, a great education, personal drive, proper medical care, a spiritual life and now a family, including my amazing husband, of my own. My greatest wish is that my children can have a better experience than I did, so they do not have to struggle as well - so far so good.
Now I can see my sensitivity and empathy as a great strength though it can still be a daily challenge. I know there are many more out there with stories like these, and there are still children today who are growing up in situations like mine. If you are, you don't have to go it alone. If you have a story of your own, please reach out - I know it can be a lonely road. Please contribute if you can!