I am so glad that I talk about being crazy online. I’m relieved that I don’t just have that dialogue exclusively in my therapist’s office because at the time I was seeing an LCSW as opposed to a Ph.D. Being able to talk about my mental illnesses online has been incredibly freeing. It’s allowed me the opportunity to be fully myself and not judge that person. It’s been a wild ride on the Internet. First I had to get comfortable enough with myself to be able to articulate that I lived with mental illness. I wanted to be real with my readers but I was afraid. I was scared they might judge me, think I was crazy (even though I am) and then choose to stop reading my words or write me off as unstable. Even though I had read so many blogs were the writer talked about taking antidepressants. Even though I knew the dialogue was changing for the better in our society, that people were better able to express the mental health challenges they were dealing with both in “real life” and online, I was afraid to unleash my “crazy” on my blog.
My blog had been a place where I talked about benign things like painting cardboard boxes from Fresh Direct or going to the park with my kids. How could I speak about my crazy panic attacks? It seemed random and not related to what I was talking about. I wasn’t able to fully justify why I would talk about my “crazy” if there was no relation or reason to. It was hard to do that when I didn’t even talk about it in my life. There were only certain people who knew about my battles with anxiety and depression. I’d even lost friendships and romantic relationships because of how crazy I was.
Then I started learning that there were more people out there who had anxiety, more folks who lived with mental illness like me. And my crazy wasn’t alone anymore. This was especially apparent when I started Stigma Fighters and people started talking about their mental health journeys. I wasn’t the only person talking about having panic attacks because I had other anxious homies. It was a wonderful feeling to be supported anxiously. Let’s also give a shout out to clinical depression, without whom I wouldn’t have recently written a blog.
I have a great friend, Trish Sammer, who encouraged me to “let my freak flag fly.” She is a great friend and told me that my crazy was part of what makes me awesome. And the truth is that “normal” is boring. Normal isn’t who I am or who I will ever me. I am a crazy person who embraces that crazy and in turn, make creative things come to life. If I wasn’t crazy, I would have no career. If I didn’t admit that I am a crazy individual I wouldn’t be true to myself. It’s okay to be different from other people and that’s why I’m glad that I talk about being crazy on the Internet.