My journey to becoming a mental health writer started when I reconnected with a high school friend on Facebook. We would talk, and I would ask her how she was. She would often say her anxiety was a mess. At the time, I didn’t know what anxiety was or how it affected her. Since I am a caring person, I wanted to help my friend. There was some distance between us, so I talked to her, listened, and offered her encouragement whenever I could. I would like to believe my reaction to her anxiety helped her, and maybe, it still does.
In 2015, after receiving some words of encouragement, I wrote my first series, “Dear Anxiety.”. It was about anxiety from my point of view. While I myself don’t suffer from anxiety, I have several friends who do. I had them write letters about their experiences. I started sharing the “Dear Anxiety” series with friends and many others.
The following year, I came out with a book that was a collection of letters. My main goal for my book was to spread awareness of not only anxiety but also mental health as a whole. First and foremost, I intended to help people. I believe I have truly helped others, and for that, I am grateful. I’ve always tried to help others, which is what inspired the book. I hope the book shows that in general, I strive to be a compassionate person.
I can’t fix are the many mental health issues those in my social circle deal with, but I can write about these struggles to spread awareness. I can assure you that I am no expert on mental health, nor would I want to be. I am just a woman who sees her friends and family deal with challenges that our society does not openly talk about. If one of my pieces on the topic can start a conversation about mental health or help someone dealing with mental illness in any way, then that is the best reward I can ever receive.
As a writer, I may vary in the topics I cover, but I intend to come back to mental health as long as it continues to be something that impacts both those in my personal life as well as those in society. I will always hold this topic near and dear to my heart because so many people I love and admire live with mental illness. I hope that as a mental health advocate, I can shed light on mental illness for those who don’t know about it and serve as a beacon of hope for those it personally impacts. I feel that education is the pathway to mental health awareness and social change.