SNIPPETS OF MY MENTAL HEALTH JOURNEY FROM PAST JOURNALS
I created a 2018 poll on my Instagram story at the end of last year, trying to get a feel for what Crea readers are interested in seeing. I'm constantly trying to find the right combination of what I feel passionate about and what speaks to those who see it. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to share more of my mental health journey (which includes my spiritual journey) because:
a) There is so much heavy content online right now, and one of my goals for Crea has always been to make it a relieving, refreshing, inspiring space. Is it possible to talk about mental health, and especially when it sometimes involves my faith, in a way that doesn't bring division and fear and frustration instead of unity and inspiration?
b) I made a promise to myself when I first realized I was sexually assaulted that I would never use my story to manipulate. I will never use it to gain followers or to get attention or to sell something. Does including it on the Crea blog compromise that promise?
c) Is the most honest, helpful content too personal to share anyways? Where is the line in general... when is sharing good and helpful, and when should social media not get to know some things? To what degree should my story be protected and guarded as my own? How much should I consider the other people in my life and how it could affect them?
I'm still wrestling with all of these questions (I would love to hear your thoughts below!) but I was a little surprised by the interest that was expressed through the 2018 survey. 130 people (86%) said they want to see more of my mental health/personal story and aren't worried about only seeing lighter content. So while I debate, I want to at least share the parts that I feel great about sharing!
If you're one of the 22 people that responded saying you prefer lighter content, of course you have the option to unfollow or skip these posts (lol) but I do want to add that my goals to keep this space relieving, refreshing and inspiring still stand, even in the stories that are harder to share. I actually consider that sort of a responsibility as a public voice or as a good leader.
I also want to make sure that any who reads these who comes from a different faith-background/religion/belief system still feels welcome. It's hard to share anything very personal without including my faith, but I will try to give you a heads up when it does... I never want anyone to feel that Crea is becoming a religious blog or that I'm writing to push my faith. It's just part of who I am and I have to include it if I'm trying to be an honest writer, but I do want everyone to feel comfortable here.
Anyways. Some of you know that I have been quietly sharing parts of my journey specifically with sexual assault/abuse on my Medium account. I will probably continue posting on Medium here and there, but I'm going to start putting in more effort to write in a way that I'm really comfortable sharing online, and that will be here, on Crea. As long as you follow my Instagram and check in on the blog every once in a while, you'll be able to stay up to date!
Here are the Journal Entries and writings from this process (starting about 2 years ago) that I love the most:
- The most I'll probably ever share about what happened (including my spiritual journey)
- Practical things that could help someone who is hurting and this one specifically for men
- Stories of amazing men who did the right thing
- Notes from my first day of counseling about three months ago
- The most helpful thing I've learned (includes my faith)