Wego Health, which is an organization that helps health activists like myself promote our causes to more readers, hosts the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge every April. Like I did last year, I will be trying to write a blog post a day for thirty days following their prompts.
Today's prompt asks me to tell you why I started blogging in the first place. I started this blog in 2008 when I was going to school in Milledgeville, because I felt very alone and isolated. At the time I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and I had no one to talk to about my struggles except for my therapist and my doctor. Of all my past diagnosis I have found schizoaffective disorder to be the most isolating, because so few people know what it is. Of course, having any kind of mental illness while in college can be very discouraging and frustrating, because colleges are simply are not set up to help those with severe mental illnesses.
I wanted a community where I could talk about my struggles and successes in regards to my mental illness. I also wanted to spread what I believe is my calling, which is that I believe there is hope for people with severe mental illnesses and addiction to accomplish their dreams and to have a life worth living. Hope is real! All too often the message that I heard from both those with mental illness and from others was that mentally ill people could not finish college, have a satisfying career, start a family, or posses a rich social life and I did not believe that was true. I still do not. I think that sometimes our goals and dreams have to be modified, because of our conditions or circumstances, but that is true for everybody.
When I first started this blog I took a big risk. I had a message I wanted to share, but my self esteem was so low that I gave up after getting no comments about my first post. I was desperate for community and very discouraged. A year later I was back to living with my parents and participating in my spiritual community. I felt very discouraged for not completing my music therapy degree, but I decided to try blogging again. I'm glad I did! Being away from the stress and loneliness of school made me more focused on my recovery and I have enjoyed sharing my journey with my readers. Gradually I have become more confident in advertising my posts. Reading the responses from friends and other bloggers has inspired me and motivated me to keep on writing. It is my hope that people reading this blog will see that throughout my struggles and successes there is always the message that hope is real for living a successful and fulfilling life despite one's mental illness, disorder, or addiction.