When I starting writing my memoir, Cutting the Soul, I was afraid to talk about my son’s mental illness, but I knew if I was going to put it out there in the world that I would have to learn to talk about it. So, like most things in life, I started with one small, timid step. Over time I became comfortable approaching people I did not know and telling them about my son’s illness. And do you know what happened? People actually listened and then they told me about their child, friend, or relative who was experiencing a similar issue. I learned that people actually do want to talk about mental illness. They want to know that they are not alone and that there are others who can offer insight, support, and guidance. Mother’s especially want to know that other mother’s are not perfect and that their children are not perfect and that it is okay. One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel alone. If you know that you are not enduring something alone it gives you hope.
Do not be afraid to talk about mental illness. Talking about it will bring our nation out of the dark times and into the light of acceptance and understanding. Knowing that they are not alone will bring hope to those who experience mental illness.