partners for mental health: not myself today

hey guess what! i'm the newest community correspondent for partners for mental health!  this is one of my first steps to wellness.  there are a handful of us across canada and we do things like blog and tweet and engage with media to promote partners for mental health and their message!

when i started writing this blog, i was not well.  i would howl through the day and cry through the night and spend my days with the bell jar or i would sleep for 20 hours at a time.

once i started writing this blog i started perusing the internet for groups that support the mental health cause and work to eliminate mental health stigma.  and then i came upon partners for mental health (@PartnersforMH) and all of their campaigns and there were a lot of little cogs in my head that went clickclickclock because the organization is simple and lovely and everything the world needs it to be.  the organization is about mobilizing and action. 

so hi. my name is meaggy aylward.  i am a 22 year old go-girl who wrings out depression like the damp weight it is to find water and light, little droplets of truth in the strange nuanced world of sadness, mental illness, and i look for ways to find light.  mostly, i am a newfoundlander in ottawa romping around doing psychology courses and collecting the fragmented pieces of my life and putting them back together after my depressive episode last year.  i still find it hard to write about depression, but it is something i do because i believe that stigma lives in the air- the space that exists between people who have depression and people who don't when nobody talks about it.  because there are so many strange and covert realities of depression that some people just don't know about: there is more to being sad for several months than just sadness- there is the teary reality that you can't imagine any version of your life in which you live past the age of 25, there is the place where a future doesn't exist and the present is only a piece of the future so that doesn't exist either.  and the truth of stigma is, it is borne of the space where words can fail and heart need to be as open as possible.  and so that is what i am asking of my friends, family, acquaintances and strangers.  i am asking you to have an open heart.
which is why, if you haven't already, i'm really really asking you from the bottom of my heart to take this pledge.

people are so cautious around me.  it isn't because they are evil.  i don't think i know any evil people.  it is because they are afraid.  and that's okay.  it's okay to be afraid of hurting me at first, but soon i want you to realize that you don't need to be and i don't need you to worry about that. when everyone around you starts tiptoeing around the world like king midas it gets a bit daunting.  i want us to fill the air with words instead of misunderstandings and stigma because both of those things suspend love and friendship and all of the good things in the world.  i want you to say to me "i'm afraid if i talk to you you'll fall in love with me because i am a guy and you are a girl who is crazy" or "i'm kind of afraid to say the word crazy around you" so i can say "no dear, i'm just not myself today" or "psssssssstttt - that's just not how it works."  so that's what i'm asking for with this pledge.  i'm asking for more than my friends looking up and saying "RAH RAH WE HATE STIGMA" - what i'm asking is for friends, strangers, acquaintances, and people to just take this pledge thoughtfully and say to yourself that you will honestly help me try to fill the air with real words instead of the words we conjure to make sense of something we don't understand.  because stigma doesn't come from evil people who hate everyone - it comes from people who just don't always know how to love certain things.  that's okay.  but let's deal with it.  let's figure it out. let's take THIS PLEDGE and post about it and talk about stigma when it's there and love when it isn't.

and that's the not myself today campaign! it was launched ages ago (last april) but i still love it.  and guys. GUYS. there are MOOD RINGS involved.  in case you don't remember your childhood, mood rings are the best things in the world.  check it out, please.  and talk about it post about it comment about it or let me know that you took the pledge that you can find HERE, so i can smile and remember how wonderful i think you are.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meaggy,

    I found your blog through the Partners for Mental Health cause on Facebook (which I originally found out about from my Dad). I signed the Pledge and have to check that site out a little more, looks like there is some interesting content.

    You're very brave for putting yourself out there like this and facing everything head on.

    Myself, I've suffered from mental illness the better part of my life. I was finally identified as bipolar type 2 about five years ago. Life hasn't been perfect, but at least I have a place to start putting the pieces back together.

    I look forward to reading your past entries and your new ones. I'll also follow you on Twitter.

    All the best,



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