Does everybody remember that night-before-the-first-day-of-school feeling?

Does everybody remember that night-before-the-first-day-of-school feeling? I'm having it right now.

I'm both terrified and excited to post this.

For some time now, I've been tiptoeing into the mental health advocacy world. I've started kinda-sorta secret accounts linked to throwaway email addresses so people I knew in real life wouldn't find them. I've written using the same strategy. I've even led digital courses in the mental health space...but I've refrained from outing myself in front of people I know.

It's not for the reason you'd think: I'm no longer scared of stigma. If you judge me for opening up about my mental health journey, there's something wrong with you, not me.

It's because I'm scared of not following through. Of starting but not finishing. Of doing a post like this, maybe keeping it up for a week or a month, then fizzling out.

It's a legitimate fear. My mental health journey has included struggles with depression and addiction. There have been plenty of times where, despite my best intentions starting out, I haven't followed through. I've gotten overwhelmed by life or my brain or both and gotten off track.

But you know what? I'm going to post this anyway.

Why? Because the world needs mental health advocates. Stigma fighters. Recovery warriors. People who loudly and proudly say, "mental health matters," then openly and honestly tell their story.

So here's my story: for most of my life, I've struggled with my mental health. Today, I'm doing better.

I don't know what the future will bring. I don't know if I'll be an empowered and impassioned mental health advocate for all of time. I don't even know if I'll stay well.

But I do know this simple truth: mental health matters. Every day. In every way. For every person.

So I'm going to post this. And (try to) keep posting. Because it's the right thing to do, even if it's scary.

Originally posted on Facebook & Instagram on October 23, 2017.

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