So I have a CRAZY Birthday idea that I would like you all to help me with…read on, please let me know what you think! It’s my birthday in 4 weeks. My 20th to be precise. Meaning I’ll no longer be a teenager, and I’ll be spending the rest of my days wishing I was one! One year of my teen life, (precisely the whole year I’ve been blogging) has been tarnished by my development of anxiety and panic disorder, one whole year of my teen life. That means, 365 days of my life has been spent being anxious, and slightly less than that has been spent having panic attacks. That is a long time, which is why I want to start something special.
It’s my birthday on the 12th of May this year, and I’ll never be able to rewind the last year of my teens or the time that anxiety began to build up in my life. No doubt, this is the same for a lot of teens whom suffer any mental illness. They say the teens are supposed to be the best years of our lives, and yet there are so many of us teens out there who suffer from mental illness, and those best years become tarnished for us and our loved ones. However, those years are also spent feeling less understood, and surrounded by people who we thought to be our friends, not understanding the demon that has taken over our minds. Slowly, we feel as though we are stepping on eggshells, and as though we are losing those who we love around us simply because of the stigma alongside mental illness.
It’s as real as any other illness, and it’s extremely uncontrollable at first. But gaining that control is extremely difficult when there is nobody around to understand what you’re facing, or how facing it will best work for you. Mental illness is different for everyone, different reactions, different ways of coping – everyone is different, some people feel no emotion at all, where others feel buckets of it.
What I’m trying to say is, let’s start understanding each other. I’m only 19 for four more weeks of my life, and I’ve spent the rest of that year having anxiety and panic disorder, being consistently misunderstood by some people and struggling to control it. It’s time we all started understanding each other, before the best years of our lives are taken away from us.
Here is where I need your help.
4 weeks isn’t much time at all. But starting today, I want people to start understanding each other. Through the blogging world, I want teens going through mental illness to be more understood – because that little bit of understanding from the people they love will make a lot of difference. Living with mental illness isn’t great, but it sure helps when the people around you understand. So here is my plan…
For whomever reads this post, I award you! Here is my little award I’ve created:
The Understand Me Award!
Here’s what you have to do:
1) Take this award, add it to your blog, and award it to as many or as little bloggers as you like – with or without mental illness.
2) To whomever receives this award, I want you to write a post titled however you like, but I want you to talk about your experiences with mental illness, in order for others to understand mental illness. With your post, I want you to talk about understanding those whom suffer mental illness either from your experience personally, or that of a friend. Or just take on board the post however you like! (Please refer to my example post later tonight if you want something more guided) When I say mental illness, I mean anything. Not just depression, or schizophrenia, or panic disorder, anorexia – I mean all of them. I mean any mental disorder or illness you have had any experience with yourself, or if you know someone close to you, or know a lot about it. I want these posts to also remain POSITIVE to show the strength of yourself or someone you know for going through mental illness. My aim is to remove the stigma that comes with mental illness – or at least try inspiring people to speak out about it in order to aid removing the stigma even a little bit, that’s better than nothing! 🙂
3) Just remember to include this list at the bottom of your post, and make it a post that could help people understand mental illness, and stop the stigma.
4) If you take part, I will be creating a separate page on my blog and I’ll attempt to include and reblog ALL of the ‘Understand Me Award’ posts on that page, so you can all check out each other’s posts in one place 🙂
5) I don’t have any goals for this yet, hey, it could go down like a lead balloon. But I want to give it a go. Let’s see how far this can go in 4 weeks time!
6) Tag each of your posts with #UnderstandMe / #UnderstandMeAward either on wordpress or twitter so I can find all your posts and share them on my blog! Or message me through here, just make sure I can find it so I can share it!
7) ANYONE can be awarded the award to take part in this, and I completely welcome all to award themselves with it to then award others! In fact, I award you all right now!
8) Don’t forget to link back to my blog/this post/another understanding me post I’ll have done/reposted!
9) Don’t feel excluded even if you’re not a teen. I only direct this at teens because of being a teen myself and my teen orientated blog, but I’d love all ages to take part. Mental illness doesn’t strike at a particular age, so please feel free to join in!
Please comment if you fancy taking this on board so I know if people like the idea/I can link back to your blog if you write an Understand Me post! Also, please comment if you have any questions, I’ll be making my own awards post to show you an example later. Like I said, if you see the award on this post or just fancy doing it – I award you – all of you who want to take part, and all of you who want to help others understand and remove the stigma. So please take part! 🙂
Keep smiling everyone, let me know what you think!