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Why I Write

Ending the Stigma

If you’ve ever read my blogs, you know I write a lot about mental health. I write about my journeys and experiences with both my physical and mental illnesses, and it’s something I’m very passionate about. About a week ago, I sat down to write. I wanted to share my story, my whole story, but I only got a few paragraphs in before I hit a “writer’s block,” and my mind went blank. I had no idea what I wanted to say, or where I wanted to start, but after a while, I came to the conclusion that I was having a hard time continuing to write, because I was scared. I had no idea how that piece was going to turn out, or if I was really ready to unfold the chaos in my life and write it out, and that scared me. So instead, I want to write about why I write what I write about (mainly mental illness). I want to talk about why I write.

I write because I have a story to share, and I want others to hear it. Not for pity or sympathy, but to help others understand what having a mental illness is really like. It’s not always what we see on TV or read about in magazines. I write in hopes that my story will inspire others to write and share their journeys with mental illness to help others feel less alone in their struggles. I write about these topics, because they’re hard topics to write about. They’re uncomfortable and difficult to approach, so many people don’t like to write or talk about mental illness. But I do. If no one else talks about mental illness, I will. I want my voice to be heard, and for my story to be shared.

I write for those who aren’t ready to talk about their own battles, but find comfort in reading that they’re not alone (because I promise you, you are not alone in your struggles). Inspiring just one person can lead to inspiring many, and the more people that talk about mental illness, the better. If more people were comfortable talking about their inner battles, we could slowly start to destigmatize mental illness. I can't do it alone, but I can start by sharing my story.

I write because I'm too afraid to say what I have to say out loud. I struggle with talking in front of others. It makes me anxious and fidgety, and overall just very uncomfortable. But at the same time, I’m also afraid to write. I worry about how people will see me after reading my story. Once I publish something, it’s out there forever. And that terrifies me. I’m scared of what may come after I share my story, what people might say, or if I’ll ever be ready to fully share my story. But mental health needs to be talked about regardless of how uncomfortable and scary it is, because it is real, and there are thousands of people out there struggling who don’t feel like they can talk about it. Though it can be scary, writing gives me the opportunity to talk about these topics. I want to share my story because I want everybody that’s dealing with, or knows someone that’s dealing with mental illness to know that they aren’t alone in fighting their battles.

Finally, I write for me. I love to write. Writing about my journeys and my struggles with mental illness brings me both comfort and closure. I'm able to write about all that I'm feeling without holding anything back, and at the end of the day I may be the only one who sees these pages, but they are out there, and they exist so that I can still find the path towards healing. I don't always publish what I write. A lot of the time, I'm just writing for me, to process and understand my own battles with mental illness, and why they've taken me down certain paths—both good and bad—and to see where it takes me next. Because of this, when I do decide to publish a piece, it gives me a sense of closure. I can write and process what I want to say, and then let it go by hitting the "publish" button, or I can lock it away in a journal just for me.

I'm not writing for sympathy or pity or attention, or anything of the sorts. I'm writing to raise awareness. To use my voice when others don't feel comfortable using their own. I write to inspire and to let others know that it's okay not to be okay, and that they're not alone (even if it feels like you are, I promise you, you aren't). I write to be the voice for others. But most importantly, I write for me.

If you enjoy my stories, leave me a tip, or even share my work on social media! Any support is appreciated 😊

Read next: The Warrior
Abbey Smith
Abbey Smith

I am a 21 year old aspiring writer. I find joy in writing about things I‘m passionate about such as mental and physical health as well as ending the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illnesses. 

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