This week is National Storytelling Week, a time to appreciate the power of people’s experiences and the stories they tell.
Many of us as bloggers are digital storytellers. We do it to help other people, share information and make a difference. Are these the reasons you do it?
I share my story to:
- Show I’m proud of who I am
- Get advice and support from people going through similar things
- Provide reassurance that if someone is feeling alone, that they’re not
- Feel relieved, almost a cathartic experience
For these reasons, I decided to share my story with BBC for Time to Talk Day. I spoke to the journalist, gave her the ins and outs of my mental health experience and then she asked if I would be filmed. Bearing in mind I hate the sound of my own voice, I decided to do it anyway. And also, considering how much I bang on about how sharing is important, how talking is important and how you shouldn’t be scared to tell your story, I was petrified.
The night before it went out I couldn’t sleep, my anxiety was through the roof and I felt sick. But I knew that it was the right thing to do. I think when you tell the world about things that are so personal, it is really daunting.
The interview I did with BBC is here (‘Living with a personality disorder’)
As soon as the interview went out, I knew I had to send to my folks as they didn’t know the extent of things. They were really supportive and for the first time, we really talked about it.
Friends that I haven’t spoken to in a while got in touch, and close friends were just amazing, sharing the link and showing support. It went down better than I thought (not hard really as I thought that everyone would disown me and I’d go into a deep sulk – Good old mental health!)
People I don’t know have been in touch to say that they feel reassured that they’re not alone in their diagnosis and some have said they’ve opened up to people they know. The last point is amazing and what I was hoping might happen.
Being a Time to Change Champion lets me tell my story to people and hopefully helps employers and their employees see that taking mental health seriously is really important. Storytelling helps social change and that’s something truly awesome and something amazing to be a part of.