So for those that don't know/didn't get the speech, my friend Sean posted this article back in April. It's an article about the stigma of mental health issues and I highly recommend it. What it did for me was help me realize that now is the time to jump in on this conversation, and I want in! I have a lot to add to it and I want to do my part in helping kids especially. They should know they're okay and that there are more of us that feel the same way out there.
I'd say that it's been since declaring my major as creative writing in college that I've wanted to write and publish this book. That was sort of my acceptance that I wanted to write professionally. I had my second round of counseling my sophomore year and I knew that I wanted to help anyone who felt like I did. I hadn't been diagnosed yet, but I knew there was something I was battling, and writing, books, and music went a long way in helping me through things. I figured if creativity & art could help me, maybe what I could do when I am good enough is write a book that others can go to that will help them not feel alone in this.
Notice I said when I am good enough. This book (that doesn't exist yet... well, it's a rough sketch at the moment) was and is important to me. It's the book I wish I had when I was in high school - one about a girl that is bipolar - just like me (so it turned out)! Who is going through the same emotions and changes - just like me! Oh, what I would have given for that character when I was 16! As it's so important, I want it to be perfect - or as perfect as it can be. So I never felt ready because I saw writing as this super important business that I didn't have the keys to yet.
When I first met with my counselor over a year ago, it was about another book. In getting to know me, though, she heard a lot about The Book - this one I have to write. So she wanted to know, why am I not writing this book? Which made me wonder, yeah... why am I not writing this book? Because I'm not a published author with answers as to how to write this?? One thing I have learned is... well, you never have the answers... you just learn some tricks. So, what was I waiting for?
It's taken some prodding, some thinking, and Mark Joyella's article on Medium to get me to where I am now. I'm writing this book. I'm writing it to join the conversation on mental health, I'm writing it to let kids know that it's ok - I feel that way, too, and I'm writing it for me... because I survived. If I can help just one kid survive it, too, then my book will have made all the difference.