Today I received a comment from Ruby over at I Was Just Thinking… in which she told me that she had pledged me for the “Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project“, something that I am very honored and more than happy to be a part of.


Here is how this thing works:

1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

OK well that is that part done also.

2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.

Ok that one is fairly easy, it is Ruby over at I Was Just Thinking

3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.

In truth it is hard to know where to begin when you just don’t know where the beginning is or indeed what caused that beginning.  What I can tell you is that I have little to no memory of my early childhood and absolutely no memory of a childhood where poor mental health – or at least seeing and perceiving things differently to others – was not a part of that childhood.

I do know that I learned very early on, in whatever childhood I may have had, to hide or mask my mental health issues and at the same time developed numerous coping skills in order to cope with both the hiding and the occasional questioning concerning the possibility of said mental health issues.

Hiding, masking and coping skills which I continued to develop and use throughout my teen and adult life way up to the age of 37 when a full mental and physical breakdown prevented me from hiding or masking them (and indeed coping with them) any longer.

And so the “cat” was well and truly out of the bag, the “beans” (or rather all the psychotic thoughts, voices in my head and irrational thought patterns) were well and truly spilled and I became a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wreck.

I am now in my very early 50’s and the road to recovery has been a rocky one and one marked with ever changing signposts and road markings or so it seems.  Those road markings – the diagnoses that I have had over the years have, as I said, been numerous and have included; manic depression aka bipolar disorder, clinical depression, PTSD, DID/MPD, paranoid schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and psychotic depression with suicidal ideation to name but a few.

What does my mental health mean to me?  Well I am not sure I could even attempt to write a short answer to that and in all truth it changes and develops as I get older and seek to understand it more and more.  It is simply part of who I am right now but possibly not who I will be in the future.  And yet no matter who I am in the future will in some way, to some degree be shaped by who I am now and what experiences I encounter now.   And for that I am very grateful.

4.) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know!

OK here I need to respond very differently to how others have responded to this section.  I am going to pledge 5 other blogs or bloggers but I am not going to list those blogs here, other than the ones that I have a say in how they respond.

Please understand this is not a criticism and is a personal choice made by me, but for me to publicly pledge other bloggers and to detail those blogs here does, in my opinion, place a burden of expectation on them which it is not my place so to do.

I will however pledge Christian Concern For Mental Health, Resonate Freedom, and The Mental Health Writers Guild, all of which I have a say in the writing of, so that they can each join in, support and publicize this initiative, but as for other blogs I can only commit to contacting them privately in order to ask them to join this excellent initiative.  That way the choice can be totally theirs to make freely without anyone knowing that they were even asked.

5.) And, as something novel for 2013, Lulu and I ask one more thing of you.

As you may have noticed, Canvas does not keep an official blogroll, outside of links to our authors’ personal blogs.  For something new and special to introduce Blog For Mental Health 2013, and really build a sense of community — and show everyone how many of us there are, and how strong we are, coming together — we are launching a Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll!  So, in addition to linking back to the person who pledged you, please include the link to the original post in your piece.  As this gets passed along, link back or click here and leave a comment containing the link to your pledge, and we will put you on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page!  Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of.  Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!

Ok this is already done also. Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.

Closing remarks…

I am extremely aware that my response to this initiative may have differed (especially in item 4) to other bloggers’ responses and I sincerely apologize if this has caused any offense and would hate for anyone to think that I in any way do not support this initiative.

I absolutely support this initiative but must stay true to my own conscience and must approach it in the best way that I can whilst not wishing to inadvertently apply any pressure on other bloggers in the process.

I think it is an excellent initiative and I hope that many others will get involved, and again I apologize for any offense that I may have caused by responding the way I have in item 4 above. 😦