When I'm well I believe there is no stigma to mental health. Of course, I mean there is no stigma coming from me. Having battled for good mental health for nigh on 30 years I do not judge anyone who is tiptoeing their way in front, beside or behind me. But of course there is a stigma. I wave that flag myself. By being ashamed and hiding. And I do. I still do. I probably always will because in the hiding I offer myself a layer of protection. I need that layer for my health. Not unlike long johns. Who knows they are there? Who needs to know?
Our own attitude to this stigma is the important bit.
If we carry our mental health like a slogan t-shirt then others may flash their own t-shirts and smile that smile of connection. If we hold our mental health like cards in a poker game then others may recognise the face and respectfully admire your hand. If we wrap our mental health in tissue and place it in a small box others may witness our precious cargo and provide extra space in which to lay the box.
And if others do not wish to wear the t-shirt, witness the game or tolerate the box then let them. Their stigma does not need to become ours. When we are strong of health we might be part of the campaign. But whilst we are growing, building, nurturing and regenerating, there is little space to join the campaign. Stigma is there, may always be there in some form or another, it is our approach to it that counts.
The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.