On January 27, Bell Let’s Talk Day, I was meeting with my CMHA support worker discussing my upcoming move and the various stresses I’m trying to cope with. We talked about the mechanics of the move, stresses in my current residence, and the elephant in my world – the last time I lived on my own, I tried to kill myself.
It was a positive meeting, filled with mostly uplifting conversation that reminded me that I’m a very different person than I was eighteen months ago. But…
Yes, that lingering “but”.
One of the positives was my eagerness to be part of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. I’d tweeted about it for days and wanted to tweet and retweet all day to promote mental health and raise awareness of the issues we face. I knew I was a small voice but I believed that when my voice was added to all of the other small voices we’d become a roar and I wanted to be a part of that, if only for one day. I was that part, our united voice did roar and I felt, and feel, proud.
Another of the positives we talked about was my writing. I write in journals, notepads, two personal blogs, and on Twitter. I’m very much a novice and make no claims about the quality of my writing other than that it’s honest. And, in this spirit of honesty, I accept that as a new blogger and Twitterer my writing has a limited exposure. But I write anyway and I’m glad that I do.
I write for me. I write about my research and my growth and my uncertainty. I write reminders to myself about the Black, about its cloying presence, about its hanging on the periphery of my mind, about its lies and I tell myself I am not those lies. I tell myself that I must be diligent in maintaining the work of recovery because that is what keeps the Black on the periphery. I tell myself of my successes because I know that the Black will say there have been none. I write to remind me of where I once was, where I am now, and where I want to go.
I write for my son. I write to give him the comfort of knowing that his dad is still fighting. I write to show him the light that has entered my world. I write to remind him that I feel and laugh and cry and live. I write to let him see that the Black has not come back. I write to ease his fear that I will fall into that Black hole again.
Then, on January 27 when I returned home after meeting with my CMHA advocate and prepared to participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day, I read a DM on Twitter from “nobody”. It was short. It was poignant and it opened my eyes.
Now I also write for “nobody”.
About John Dickson
A lifelong battle with Major Depressive Disorder resulted in a suicide attempt. That attempt taught me the danger of being silent about my personal struggles with mental health. I’ve had to learn to be more open about my struggle. I now choose to reach out with the hope that someone will be inspired and end his/her own silence. I’m a dad, a blogger and a new convert to the power of social media.