My Mental Health Journey: Farewell Stigma, Hello Recovery
Seven years: that’s how long I’ve been writing for HealthyPlace and the Surviving Mental Health Stigma Blog. This time seven years ago, I was embarking on a new journey in writing and mental health. And now, again, I’m embarking on a new journey and saying goodbye to this blog.
Mental Health Stigma Isn’t as Straightforward as You Might Think
Reflecting on my time blogging for the Surviving Mental Health Stigma Blog, much has changed. And I’ve learned so much.
When I started writing for this blog, I thought of stigma in rather narrow terms. I didn’t think they were narrow terms, but as I’ve written more and more on this topic and explored the different ways I’ve been impacted by stigma and self-stigma, I’ve come to see that stigma isn’t as straightforward as I thought it was.
Mental health stigma is complex. It’s not just someone saying something like, “You’re not trying hard enough.” It’s not just someone discriminating against you because of how mental illness impacts you. It’s also unintentional stigma because someone doesn’t know any better. It’s well-intentioned comments that encourage you to get better while grossly misunderstanding mental illness. It’s the negative things about mental health we’ve internalized and the negative things we say to ourselves over and over again.
Just when I thought I fully recognized the beast, it showed up in a new guise. The difference was I had changed. I had grown and knew that I could handle whatever mental health stigma came my way. I understand that it comes from a place of ignorance, that it’s not always intentional, that it lives within me in self-stigma, and that it’s okay if it still hurts sometimes.
The Next Stage of My Mental Health Writing Journey
It’s been an amazing experience all around. I’ve loved being able to share my thoughts and insights on living with mental illness and what it means to be stigmatized because of it. I’ve loved seeing how my writing has evolved and how people have responded to all of it. I thank everyone who has read my blog posts, who will continue to read them, and who have shared their own stories with me through them.
My journey doesn’t end here. While I’ll no longer be writing for the Surviving Mental Health Stigma Blog, I’ll still be writing for HealthyPlace. The next stage of my journey takes me to the Recovering from Mental Illness blog, and I’m looking forward to it.
I’m no stranger to writing about recovery—I’ve covered it from a stigma perspective a time or two—and it’s something I’m passionate about. Years and years ago, I didn’t think recovery was possible. I saw recovery as a pipedream that wasn’t for me. Now I know differently.
And I can’t wait to share all about it with you.
Barton, L. (2022, August 22). My Mental Health Journey: Farewell Stigma, Hello Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2022/8/my-mental-health-journey-farewell-stigma-hello-recovery