Brenda Johima*Why the stigma for us regular folk? Let’s all be done with hiding of mental health challenges, mental illness, disabilities of all sorts, especially the invisibles ones that we work even harder to hide.

From insomnia to severe sleep deprivation, depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, post concussion syndrome, fibromyalgia, the only few that I can speak to personally, what would be the difference between me disclosing that publicly online, and a celebrity or Olympic level athlete doing the same? Well, aside from the millions of dollars and multi-million dollar homes that they may own that I don’t (yet) … nothing … no difference.

We are all equal as human beings.

So I am courageously claiming my right to disclose without discrimination, and with pride, my disabilities.

While I deal only with the above, on a daily basis, 24/7, here is why I feel entitled to not hide it from the public online anymore :

  1. I still believe in miracles. I still believe every morning when I wake up that somehow I will be cured, healed, and my challenges will be gone, forever. I keep on trying. You just never know. If you never hope, never keep trying, it could never happen. Trust me, I want all of this stuff to go away. As one who used to be a runner, when I ran 5 miles a day, it was the norm in the morning to get up, lace up, and go jog, or get to the pool by 6 AM. In my mind; every morning I STILL think that way, even if I don’t (yet) take the action to be able to run every day anymore. There must be hope for a cure or my brain would have given up by now? Oh, I know what you are thinking … acceptance, right? Accept of what is … yes, I do that too … on some days when able; I accept that this is my life, and is meant to be, but on most days I am still trying to figure out how to fully heal myself and believe that I CAN and WILL. So IF a cure is possible, then WHY would I need to hide the fact that I have it?
  2. Celebrities and top level Olympic athletes do and can disclose whatever is going on with them, whether by choice or paparazzi. (hopefully the former) We are all equal. I don’t need to list names of famous people (we all can Google them) who have come forward with their personal challenges with depression, anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders, PTSD, insomnia and sleep deprivation, MS, Parkinson’s, addictions and more … I applaud them ALL for their courage. Thank you.  Now let’s give the rest of us a break and level the playing field. It is OK for ALL of us to talk about this.
  3. All disabilities come with gifts. Yes, we who struggle with disabilities daily, have things that place us as just as employable, equal and talented in some areas; including in business. Let me explain that in a future post.

That’s all for now. A short post, to be continued, because it is a gorgeous day out there and I want to get out and enjoy the SUN with my camera and my dog, before it starts raining on Vancouver Island for months on end … or maybe even snowing?

Always Love,

(* Disclaimer : I am not a medical professional, consultant or expert. This is my own personal journal of thoughts and writings and I’m not providing recommendations. Please make sure you do what works for YOU only and only what is right and safe for you personally online. I am just sharing my personal choice at this time. I also know that due to online bullying and for other reasons, it’s not safe for everybody to share online. Listen to your gut, smarts and heart, and if in doubt, seek out the professional advice of a counsellor, your physician, psychologist or otherwise. Thanks!)


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