I have absolutely no issue being utterly frank about what went on or is going on in my life. Readers all know that I suffer from depression, with occasional bouts of suicidal ideation. Luckily, those bouts are getting fewer and farther in between. Therapy and surrounding myself with good people have helped immensely. I'm also very fortunate in that I can manage my depression without the use of medication (thus far). That's not to say I think medication is a bad thing. I don't think so. For myself, however, I would prefer not to use it. I will, of course, if things ever get really bad. I've been very lucky so far.
Most of you reading this will also know that I a sexual assault survivor. Hi. Those of you who don't, well, now you do! I have no issue telling you this. There are a couple of reasons I do. The first is that I no longer attach any shame to this. I am not to blame for the actions of another. While it certainly continues to affect me, shame is no longer part of that. I have spent a lot of time and money (therapy is expensive, yo!) getting to a place where this part of my past can no longer injure me.
There are a couple of reasons I'm so open about these things. The first is that there is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues and those who have been assaulted. My speaking out is me doing my part to end that stigma. There's a reason that talking is one of the main themes of almost all mental health campaigns ever.
I'm also at a place where I am no longer defined by my history or my mental illness. I can acknowledge them without being hurt by their presence in my life. They're simply facts now. I don't think that pretending they weren't there and that they didn't influence the person I am would be useful to me, or anyone. The fact is they are a part of my life and pretending they didn't or don't influence me would be horribly dishonest.
And I don't want to be dishonest with my readership. They, you, deserve better than that.
Sharing all this stuff also helps to humanise me, I think. I know a lot of people spend a lot of time curating their presences so that they seem perfect, their lives are enviably spectacular. I don't want to be one of those people. Life doesn't have to be always perfect to be worth living. A person shouldn't have to be perfect to be worthy of love. Life, humanity, is messy and complicated, and not constantly glamorous. I don't want to present it like it is. What happens if I get famous enough to actually influence people? I don't want to present a life to them that is entirely unattainable as something that is real. It's not. I consider it a personal responsibility.
And, along the lines of personal responsibility, I want to show anyone who might be reading, and struggling with the same things I struggle with, that there is a way. There is a way to have both depression and to lead a good, fulfilling life. Sure, it's not easy. There will be some pretty big hurdles. But it's possible. Similarly, I want to show assault survivors that it is entirely possible to not only survive and assault, but to thrive after one. It's a fight. Not every day is going to be good. But a good, fulfilling life is possible.
Of course, I do keep some secrets. Not many. But some.
Sometimes, those secrets don't stay secret. They're just things I'm currently working through and will talk about at a later date. Sometimes, they're secrets that I keep on behalf of another. Sometimes they're half secrets, where I talk about something that happened to me, but keep the identities of the people involved a secret.
But the Me you know from this blog is very much the Me that exists in real life. And I promise to try and always be real with you.
If ever you meet me, the person presented on this blog and the person you meet are pretty much exactly the same; a silly goofball who struggles a lot with the business of life. This was a very deliberate decision I made when I started blogging. I didn't want to present myself as something I'm not, only to disappoint anyone who might follow my blog and then meet me in real life.
And on that note, I should get on with real life.