Life is full of unexpected lessons in our life. When we start on what I call “our journey”, we don’t really know what there is ahead of us. I do know one thing; whatever we have ahead we have the ability to learn from it.
On twitter there are many # to refer to MH (Mental Health). I am one of many that has experiences as an advocate and consumer in Mental Health. To make friends with ones on twitter is a privilege and one that does not go unnoticed by me. I have an online family, one of the fortunate ones.
What does #TimetoChange mean to me? It means that in the year 2019 there is a stigma to mental health that simply should not be there. I have pondered over the years why there still is… the answer… FEAR.
Fear of being discriminated against. This simply should not be the case, but you cant change what it is unless you keep on persevering with a message of hope and reality. I could go on about statistics, but there is no reason to do this. There is not one day that goes by that you don’t hear from a celebrity, news stories or our own personal interactions with others that someone has anxiety, depression, PTSD; only three forms of mental health
As I sit in a hotel lobby, I contemplate many questions, I realise that this post is of great importance to me. #TimeToChange can only be achieved if we know what needs changing. We are now living a life that knows someone has mental health issues. You can either ignore it or EDUCATE. You cant change what you don’t care to change. Sounds complicated, but really quite simple.
If you care about someone in your life who experiences some form of mental illness, do you care enough to find out more about it? Do you love that person enough to find out how you can change? Simply do you care to educate? Education is the key to change thoughts on the sensational stories that surround us. I am not here to preach, I am here to say:
LET’S EDUCATE TOGETHER
small steps are the best
I cant save the world in one day. I cant answer why mental health illness is increasing today. What I can do is take small steps in changing the perceptions that are present today about what Mental Health looks like. I can tell you that being put in a psychiatric hospital and throwing away the key with movies showing people rocking back and forth does not help. This does more damage and simply irritates me. There is more to someone who has a mental health illness than that!
As an advocate and a continuing survivor I know that small steps without the preconceived ideas above is a good start. Taking the time to look at others around us, and realising that ‘no-one is alone’ is positive. The first small step I believe ‘should be’ stating “I have a mental illness”, but is the person sitting next to you ready to hear that? Are you ready to share this? Only you can answer that! I know I am at a point in my life that if a situation arises, I will now state it. My fear is subsiding, and with that, freedom to be who I am is liberating!
Live your life
All ANYONE with or without mental illness can do is live life on your terms. Its not about pretending to be someone you are not. Life has its challenges, but living a life based on ‘what you should be’ gets old.
Anyone that follows my site knows that I have openly stated that 2019 is my ‘year to shine’. I believe I am taking the small steps to do it, and like anyone I try and do my best. The best is all you can do. Stop pretending to live the life of others
Without sounding repetative, I am implore anyone who cares about anyone that comes across someone in general to ask #ruok. Are you okay? Today I am, in fact today is a great day to share my message. I will continue to spread my message of recovery and today I have decided that as much as I can, my new hashtag on twitter will be this: #TimeToChange. Why? Because if we don’t change something now, when will it ever be the right time?
If living in Australia you need to talk to anyone please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or in a emergency 000.
Written by Lina Raudino.
All writing is from personal insight. Photos are referenced personally.