It's not a secret.
Even the British Royal Family is talking about it. Tweeting, actually.
It's "Let's Talk" day in Canada. An annual initiative to foster conversation about mental health and end stigma surrounding mental illness.
Stigma exists in silence. Stigma exists in ignorance. Stigma exists in a shame based culture.
"We don't talk about that." "Don't tell anyone." "Better keep that a secret." "Don't let that get out."
Secrets are riddled with fear and shame. Fear. Shame. More fear. More shame.
Secrets are kept hidden from view. All and any view.
Secrets are about pretending and hiding. Keeping a secret is draining.
It's not a secret I've got an anxiety disorder.
It's not a secret I've experienced trauma.
It's not a secret I've had bouts of depression.
It's not a secret I struggle with binge eating.
It's not a secret our teen struggles with an anxiety disorder.
It's not a secret our teen has struggled with depression.
It's not a secret mental illness and addiction run in my family.
Recovery happens in community.
It's not a secret because I'm no longer afraid of what others think.
It's not a secret because I understand the shame is a symptom of trauma and addiction.
It's not a secret because I know it's not about pulling up my socks or exercising my willpower.
It's not a secret because this is 2017 and stereotypes, quiet shushing whispers, negative attitudes and stigmatizing labels are outta date.
The words we use are important.
I share to normalize mental health care. It's no different than dental care, heart care, joint care, or bone care.
I share to help others know they are not alone.
I share to let you know that help is available.
I share to let people know these illnesses have been strong powerful teachers.
Self-disclosure is always a choice.
So let's talk. I'm here. I'm listening.
Sharing the love,