My #BeReal guest today is Sarah Fader.
Sarah runs a worthwhile non-profit called Stigma Fighters. She fights stereotypes about mental illness, a cause I am very passionate about.
Real people struggle everyday because of the misconceptions surrounding people with mental health issues. Sarah is only one of thousands of people who are coming out of the mental illness closet to help break the stigmas we face.
I relate to Sarah when she talks about depression. I feel connected in her hope that tomorrow will be better for people like us.
My amazing friend Hasty Words asked me to write a blog post about being real. I wanted to write something compelling. I wanted to inspire people with words. As always, I wanted to help people. Only, depression has silenced me. It’s put duct tape over my mouth and made it so I can’t use my words. I want to scream, punch a wall, stomp my feet, sing, dance and play, but I can’t do any of those things. I even want the tears to roll down my face, but my face is made of cement and the hard rocks are spreading into my chest cavity.
I try to spout out words. My skin itches. I want to speak so badly, but I can’t, I won’t. It is this big black monster that tackles me to the ground. It makes me feel as small as an ant. It tells me that I shouldn’t even try.
You are worth less than the spit on the sidewalk
Who do you think you’re fooling with your fake heart.
You pretend to care
Everyone will see through you sooner or later
These are the things it says to me.
I go on anyway. I live my life with a dark grey cloud hovering over my head like an albatross. It is my personal burden that is entirely invisible to everyone else.
If you look closely you can see the hurt in my eyes. If you inspect further you can see that I am trying (unsuccessfully) to focus on what you’re saying to me, but inside I am breaking.
So this is my reality.
I’m a great actress, except when the curtain is falling on my body and I can’t get up.
How many more of me are there out there?
Sarah Fader is the flavor vanilla with something unusual in it – like gummy bears, because she’s sometimes extroverted and wants everybody to like her, but some folks are like “wait a minute, this vanilla ice cream has gummy bears in it?! That’s weird. I don’t know about that…” Other people love that this particular ice cream has gummy bears in it, because it makes it more interesting and special. Oh, and she writes for HuffPost was on Good Day NY, has her own column on Psychology Today called Panic life, and runs a non-profit for mental health called Stigma Fighters www.stigmafighters.com
She is the editor of The Stigma Fighters Anthology which features essays from real people living with mental illness from around the world.
Follow her @osnsmom on Twitter.
If you like the idea of the #BeReal campaign, and want to share your views on it, please link up with us. You can help make this a bigger, brighter movement than it already is.
All opinions welcome – it’s about being real, after all!
To help spread the message, read and share one another’s posts.
And remember – be YOU! #BeReal.