The last month has been impossibly hard. Each day, I wake up afraid of what horrible thing that I will see in the media or what outrageous thing has happened in our world. I have felt scared, alone, angry, and useless.
I am a worrier- it is in my blood. Living in a Trump presidency feel impossible because there is so much unpredictability that my brain can’t help but think of the worst in every situation. Repeal ACA? My anxious brain tells me that I am going to lose my health insurance and not be able to afford my medications. Turn public education into a private money-maker? I am worried about my students, my job, my future children. I hope that my fear is irrational, but I cannot help but worry.
With all of this fear, worry, anxiety sitting on my chest, how could I possibly think about writing this blog, seeking opportunities to further advocate for mental health and wellness, or even contemplate continuing to tell the stories that are buried within me? My voice feels so small compared to the chaos in our world. So I fell silent.
And then, I had a realization… silence is my safety blanket. From the day I was diagnosed until the day I put this video into the world, I had used silence to protect myself from the harsh reality that people may see me differently if they know that I live with a mental illness. For so long I had let being silent keep me safe from judgement, but in doing so had pushed people away, lied to those that I love, and fought my battle alone. In silence, there is comfort laced with ignorance. Staying comfortable means nothing changes.
That is my challenge- in this time of uncertainty and fear, find your voice and use it. Whatever ignites your soul, share it with others. That is the only way we will ever overcome that challenges that lie in front of us.