I had met Elizabeth Bricco (@bettysbattleground) through my blogging community on twitter. Her website name intrigued me and I remember visiting her page and skimming through her posts. She is an advocate for mental illness. How she delivers content to educate and share other people’s experience with mental illness. She is a consistent and helpful soul with delivering raw content. Even in the midst of the chaos that linger in her own mind, she has the heart to share with her readers and the world about the importance of knowledge with mental illness.
‘The hurt she shares, I found comfort in.’
She had tweeted that she is looking for anyone who wanted to share their experiences with mental illness, through an interview that she would share with her readers and followers.
I thought about the extent of me sharing my experience. A few weeks back when I shared that I am struggling with Postpartum Depression with family and friends, it was the scariest thing for me to do and my husband had to do the talking for me. But eventually, sharing it made me a little braver. It made me comfortable enough to share with my viewers through my post “28, Three Kids and Postpartum Depression”.
After posting about how I came to find out that I suffer from Postpartum Depression mixed with Anxiety and OCD, the amount of support I received from my blogging community and my readers was amazing. I realized how important it was that I shared it. Aside from the fear of sharing it, a huge part of me wanted the world to know how hard it was to battle with mental illness, alone. Because that’s what it is. No matter the amount of people who are by your side, this is a battle you face on your own, with your own mind. Your experience is extended to those you love the most, and it’s heart breaking.
What I have gathered from all the comments, I was left with is that..
..this is still an illness that not a lot of people care to educate themselves on, unless they themselves are dealing with it or someone they love. Most people are ignorant about it and thats what causes the stigma. People don’t care to know what it means to struggle with mental illness, and they view you as mentally weak and crazy.
Sharing my experience is important. Individuals who struggle with mental illness need support, encouragement, friendships, and understanding. They need to be able to access help and feel free to do so, without the fear of being judged. I have yet to access all avenues of help, except medication because well, I don’t have a lot of options financially. But Elizabeth surprised me with a YouCaring fundraiser to help with the cost (totally amazing of her). I thought she would just share my story, and this would be enough to help others. But what she does is she gives more, and that in its own tells you that no matter who you are, even with mental illness, it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person who was mean mentally or emotionally. It is an illness that takes over you, yes. But it is an illness we did not choose or want. It is an illness that brings itself out from the depths of your soul, from the darkness you thought you’ve managed to store away.
Sweet Elizabeth Bricco, thank you for allowing me to share my story. Thank you for your support, and help through this part of my life. I am grateful for opening a conversation with you and for your voice for advocating for such an important message. Thank you for allowing me to utilize your social platform to share and educate with others who may be going through postpartum depression or other mental illness. Thank you for providing comfort and being another helping force to help those struggling with mental illness! You have a kind heart. We’re together in this.
Please visit http://www.bettysbattleground.com/2017/04/17/parenting-mental-illness-maria/ to read my interview with her and for the YouCaring fundraiser she’s set up for me on her page, to help.