Im sure it's pretty clear by now that I don't hide the fact that I have a mental illness. I have no reason to.
I have found so much peace in my work to accept who I am. I am by no means complete in this process. It is a process, but when I stopped hiding my life I opened myself up to support from others and I opened myself up to be a support to others.
Whether in my life at college, with my friends, at church, or online I don't hide my mental illnesses. Some information has to come out at the right time to the right people, but besides that I try to be as open as I can be.
Through this process of opening myself up I have had so many marvelous opportunities to help people. I get asked questions all the time about coping skills, how to treat a friend who has a mental illness, where someone can find a good therapist, or how to go about getting a service dog or emotional support dog. You name is. I have probably been asked it.
It's not always butterflies and rainbows. Not everyone appreciates how open I am about certain things. But their opinions are their opinions. The way I see it though is I'm not looking for attention, I'm just talking about my life. It just happens to be a little different at times than some people's.
If all people see about me is my mental illness that is their fault, not mine.
I have a goal in life to help as many people as I can. I believe that one reason I have had to go through these trials is so that I can help people. I do that by speaking out. By educating. By showing others who are in my position that it's okay. You don't have to apologize for living with a mental illness and it will get better.
Right now I do that by writing, be speaking, and by being open.