Pushing My Boundaries
Those of you who follow this blog or have read our About Page will know that I founded Pushing Back the Shadows based on a vision that I had. Call it a dream or a calling or whatever you will but it was a significant step in my journey and I want to tell you about that today.
In my post Before the Morning, I told you a bit about my personal blog that I’d started back when my depression first hit. It was designed to allow close friends and family to keep up to date with my struggle and how things were going without me having to message everyone individually. As it grew, it also became a source of explanations so I could give them insights into how I was feeling and why certain things happened. In short, it was a journal, an information site and a connectivity exercise.
But it became so much more.
From Before the Morning came the vision. Add the catalyst I mentioned in my last post in My Journey and you have the drive. From that drive, Pushing Back the Shadows was born.
Pushing Back the Shadows
Mental health is one of those highly stigmatised topics that no one wants to talk about. For those suffering mental health issues, it’s the fear of being judged or the fear that people won’t understand that muzzles them. For those supporting them, it’s the fear of saying the wrong thing and not being understanding that keeps them quiet.
Pushing Back the Shadows aims to change that.
Given how I’ve always enjoyed writing and I seem to be able to describe how I’m feeling, I decided it was time to put that to good use. On my personal blog, I’ve always been able to explain how I’m feeling with a decent amount of success, so I wanted to take that further. I wanted to create a place where people struggling with mental health could find encouragement and support but I also wanted a place where those supporting them could find tips, suggestions and explanations. Pushing Back the Shadows is my way of doing that.
Breaking the Stigma
Mental health needs to be talked about. It’s as simple as that. If we don’t talk about it, how can we hope to understand it? How can we hope to help people? We need to talk about it and that means breaking down the stigma.
Through PBTS, I want to get the conversations going. We have our community forums that people can use to start those discussions or join in with existing discussions. If we can get people talking then we can break down the stigma, bring that greater understanding and get people the help that they need.
My story is just one story, my journey is just the walk of one man struggling. Only by bringing our stories and our experiences together can we hope to break that stigma.
My Call to Action
I’d like to leave you with something I wrote recently as the PBTS manifesto. I firmly believe in this and want to share it with you. Check it out:
I want to live in a world where mental health is not stigmatised.
I want to live in a world where people can talk about depression or anxiety without fear of being judged.
I want to live in a world where people struggling with mental health issues can be supported – properly supported – without people keeping them at arm’s length, not knowing what to do or what to say.
I want to live in a world where we can all be one big community, supporting each other in our trials with compassion, understanding and patience. A world where mental health is openly talked about, where people can feel as though they are taken seriously and they don’t have to cover it up or hide who they really are. A world where people are not put down as “weak” for being depression or anxious.
I want to live in a world where we are accepted.
But I can’t do it alone.
Join the Pushing Back the Shadows community and help me as I raise awareness, pushing back those shadows. Help me as I strive to build this better world, where we can be open about our mental health problems and people can accept us, having the understanding of why we are how we are.
Together, we can end the stigma.
I want to live in that world!
What about you?
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