18 Aug

I started this hashtag on twitter for people to talk about all the ways in which they are so much more than just their mental illness. Watching the responses pour in has been amazing and heartbreaking and I just have so much love for everyone brave enough to tweet about such a stigmatized issue.

Here are a few of my faves:

Please join in the conversation if you want to! But also much love to you if you don’t feel comfortable enough to do so. We see you, and we know how hard it is ❤

art by Viki Bristowe

art by Viki Bristowe

14 Responses to “#notmymentalillness”

  1. Jessica A Bruno (waybeyondfedup) August 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Reblogged this on Jessica A Bruno (waybeyondfedup).

  2. @davidh1967 August 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    I just feel like the mental illness is all there is now. The person I was is gone. I’m what’s left. And what’s left is a repugnant, useless failure. There is no reason for me to be alive.

    • JollyBlog August 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

      There are always reasons to stay alive! If for nothing else, for the sake of the people who love you. I know it’s hard. It was almost impossible for me to cope before my therapist and antidepressants. All I can say is, you are not alone. Millions of us share your pain and millions of us want you to stay alive, for all our sakes. Your living gives me the courage to live too.

      • @davidh1967 August 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

        Well, thanks to you, and to Jollyblog, for the words of encouragement, but I’m afraid they don’t connect or have any relevance to me. I’m aware I have to stay alive to avoid inflicting pain on others, but a reason not to kill yourself is not a reason to be alive; rather it amplifies the emptiness of my life on a daily, hourly, moment by moment basis. It would have been far better if I had never been born. Instead I have to live this groundhog day again and again in which I manage to regularly confirm how devoid of meaning my life is, what a failure I am at everything, that I do not belong among normal people. The helplines you mention are for people who want help not to kill themselves; as that prospect holds no fear for me I’d much rather have a conversation about the effective mechanics of suicide. I have a canister of helium but I’m not sure what to do with it.
        Anyway. Thanks again. Hope you find the things you’re looking for in life.

    • Moxie in the Making August 19, 2014 at 2:14 am #

      I just want you to know that so many of us have been there. It’s a dark place, but you’re never alone in it. There are thousands of people out there right now who used to feel exactly like you do right now. They’re still out there. They’re doing what they can and making life okay. They’re learning to laugh and smile and finding meaning in their lives again. One day, you’ll be there, too. You’ll pull through this. We believe in you. We’re rooting for you. And we need you to keep going and being your amazing self. You could *never* be replaced. (Don’t be afraid to call one of those free hotlines if you need a hand, okay? We all need a little help now and then.)

  3. aqilaqamar August 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    Never just your mental illness 🙂

  4. Rebecca Meyer August 18, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    Such a great idea for you to start this Twitter hashtag. I think communicating about mental illness and showing that it’s healthy and powerful to talk about it will help with erasing the stigma.

  5. Melissa J White August 19, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    Kudos! I read your posts in my email, but don’t visit your site to know–Has a lot has been stirred up due to Robin W’s passing? A strange epitaph…

    I read and enjoy your writing. THANK YOU. -mel

  6. izzy82 August 19, 2014 at 1:53 am #

    I know this kinda defeats the point but I don’t have Twitter so I’ll leave my thoughts here-
    When I feel nothing but terror and disconnect but I go on and do everything to forge connections. When other people and systems think there’s something wrong with me but I know it’s trauma and what happened to me so I know what they say about me is #notmymentalillness

  7. jmlindy422 August 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Crazy Good Parent and commented:
    Among the things I wish I’d thought of is this campaign. The Belle Jar started the hashtag #notmymentalillness and it’s encouraging those of us with neurodiversities to tweet about not being defined by our mental illness. Get on it!

  8. Thank-you for this hashtag. I say AMEN to that! We are not what we experience but so much more! Again, thank-you.

  9. Mari August 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Reblogged this on Stars Rain Sun Moon and commented:
    A worthy tribute, cause I too #notmymentalillness
    Ann, you’re cageless, and I love you for that. I do.

  10. kvennarad August 25, 2014 at 4:50 am #

    Some time ago I learned to love who I am, and to start making some kind of cocktail of all these pesky conditions. I became a writer and a poet. Essentially I AM my mental illnesses at the same time as I am #notmymentalillness

  11. drscoggins August 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    I commend you for starting a hash tag on Twitter. The hope is with awareness and education that one day the stigma related to mental illness will no longer overwhelm those with mental health concerns. So many out there are either openly and knowingly living with mental illness but there is a huge population unknowingly living with it and is afraid to seek help because of the stigma. Thanks 🙂

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