Today I am announcing my retirement from my position as a community correspondent for Partners For Mental Health. I’m excited to have shared the past 5 years with you as we advocated for better mental health care in Canada. I have made lifelong friends, and worked with incredibly inspiring people. **I will give a shout out and a link to each of their avocation sites at the end of this article.**
Throughout the 5 years I have worked with Partners For Mental Health I have shared my personal story about suffering from mental health problems such as, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bulimia, Addiction, and more. I am happy to share with you today that I am recovered from Bulimia and addiction. I know that I will suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder for the rest of my life, I know I will never have a linear emotional stability line, I will have doctors appointments for the rest of my life, and I will continue to take 9 pills a day just to keep my head above water.
I struggle every day, mental illness never takes a day off, she’s always with me. She is my shadow, my false hope, my demon, and my best friend. I have learned that I will live with her for the rest of this lifetime and I have made my peace with that. I know somedays I will want to die just to make the pain stop. I have struggled with knowing this for a while –it’s hard to live a life where you can see that you are ill but you cannot do anything about it. I was fighting this for years, feeling pitiful because I will always be sick and, my brain twists normal situations into mental anguish and I see it happening – knowing I can’t stop it.
That’s when I realized I need to stop fighting. This isn’t a war, I am not on a battlefield. I am mentally ill and I can flourish from this, or I can let it swallow me. I have never seen a strong person with an easy past. Accepting my illness also allows me to accept the good things about it– I notice small details, I can go into a state of mind of complete bliss – because I know what it’s like to go into a state of mind of complete misery. I can create chaos or I can recognize and cope throughout it.
Mental Health avocation is an amazing source of coping. Reading stories that you can connect to, writing submissions people get inspired by, meeting fans online and in everyday life, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. I have decided to “retire” in a way that I am still advocating for every mentally ill person that is on this earth – and for those who have passed, but in a different way. My life focuses around new developments within my journey, relationships, and making up for the time I lost.
I was always told that I should write a book when my story ends. I have to be recovered to write, to inspire, and to be there for those who cannot. I don’t believe a story can ever really end – I advocated in the midst of the depths of my mental illness. If there is one lesson I have learned in the past 5 years, it is this – you can advocate no matter what stage of illness you are in – or if you don’t have a mental illness, you are valid – no illness is “harder” than the other, people will always care, and you are in charge of your recovery – you must recover for yourself because no one can do it for you – be your own advocate. I will continue making videos, music, posts, and tweets, but they will be around my personal life and new developments. I love you all. I thank you for the crazy, amazing, loving, life changing years.
Kristin Bower – A mother-like figure who I always knew I had by my side
Jeff Moat – One of the most charismatic and strong men I have had the pleasure to work with. President of Partners For Mental Health
Jillian Jones – A hipster teacher who can put a smile on anyones face
Rebecca and Joe Lombardo – Two people who have the most hilarious conversations, are completely in love – and so inspiring
Shane Shaulz – A man that has been my idol from the moment I received a phone call from him. A strong, brilliant, resillant man.
Krystle Kung – A friend who I learned from everyday
Genevieve Martin – One of the most dedicated advocates Ive ever had the pleasure to work with as well as an amazing, talented, good friend
Allison Grange – A mental health advocate turned into an incredible mother
Renee Yohe – A strong woman who created a motion for mental health by simply being true to herself
Matt Galloway (and Joe S) – for welcoming me onto CBCMetro Morning
Lee Harrison – for recognizing my persistent voice and helping me forward my advocacy
Allison Tarr – For being an important part of the mental health conversation
Steve Parish – For allowing me to advocate in Ajax freely
Partners For Mental Health – For being my home and hope for the past 5 years
YOU – For being here and helping the mental health advocacy world move on one conversation at a time