You Are So Brave…

“You are so brave to share your story,” many people have said to me throughout the years.

“Thank you,” I would humbly reply and never felt like I was brave.

Each time I share my story of living, surviving and overcoming severe mental illness it becomes easier and the need to be brave becomes less. Additionally, the statement of “I am so brave to share my story” becomes even more inaccurate and untrue.

“I never felt brave. I was just being me–the only way I knew how to be.”

I know when people say I am brave to share my story of living with mental illness, they think it is a compliment. However, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a compliment. It reminds me I am different than them, when I don’t feel as if I am and I don’t want to be.

“I just took a different path that brought us to the same place.”

I feel like they think I am brave to share what is wrong with me and how I am different than them. It sounds like they are saying they think my story is so unbelievable and different that it must take courage to speak about it and I should be ashamed of it.

I, on the other hand, am not embarrassed or ashamed of my life or myself. I am proud of who I have become–my strength, courage, determination and resiliency to overcome my illness and many obstacles along the way.

To be brave you must be fearful of something first and it must be difficult for you to do. But, it is not difficult and I am not afraid to share the story of my life. I tell my story to increase understanding, make people happy, share love, inspire hope and encourage others that recovery is possible and that life is worth living and fighting for.

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When someone says I am brave it makes me feel like I should be embarrassed and ashamed to tell my story and share who I am, but I want to share my story and who God helped me become. I am not ashamed or embarrassed. Instead I am very proud of being a survivor and know I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Some people may think I am brave to share my mental illness journey because it is difficult for them to share their own stories. The reason people have to find courage to share their stories and even talk about mental wellness and recovery is caused from the stigma of mental illness.

Stigma puts fear in people to share their own stories. I pray one day people will feel free and uninhibited to share their stories and NEVER have to live in shame. We all need to hold our heads up high and feel free to share our stories without fear of judgement or condemnation of any kind.

People who live with mental illness need to understand and truly BELIEVE that mental illness is NOTHING to be ashamed of. It is an illness that you acquired and is never your fault. Instead of being ashamed of having a mental illness you must be proud because you are truly a survivor and an inspiring hero every minute of every day to keep fighting through the pain and stigma of mental illness.

The fact that I am alive to share my story is a miracle in and of itself. First and foremost, all the praise and glory must be given to God. I must share God’s goodness and grace to all I meet. That is the main message that needs to be shared and heard. I strive to always let God’s love shine through me and touch everyone I meet.

Additionally, the praises and compliments need to go to the listeners and readers of my story. I am thankful and beyond words grateful that I have an audience to listen and read my story.

Thank you for reading and listening. I hope I helped and inspired you in many ways. I share my gift of life with you so that you can live and thrive in your own life and enjoy the pure beauty of living and the precious miracle in each breath of life.


© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

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12 Replies to “You Are So Brave…”

  1. Hi, now you have made me see things in a different light of just being yourself which now I understand.This as just given me a fresh idea for my new post!! Thank so much for sharing. ❤️ Much appreciated.

  2. I am happy I could give you a new perspective and idea for a new post just like you did for me. I will have to check it out your post. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it and you.

  3. I truly appreciate this perspective; I have written in my blog about bravery. I also immensely liked the touch on the stigmatization of us “sufferers”; it is 2019 yet we still hide in plain sight, afraid of how we’ll be perceived. Thank you for helping me see a different side to it!

    1. You are very welcome. Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I like that “hiding in plain sight.” Yes, that is EXACTLY what we do–we feel like we have to because of the stigma. That saddens me and I hope that will end soon–like yesterday.

  4. Thank you, Susan, for being brave. 😉 I do think we all feel unable to open up when in the desperate thralls of mental illness, so your openness is empowering.

    1. Thank you Chelsea. That is very true, It was much more difficult to talk about my journey when I was in the middle of my worst symptoms. Now that I continue to feel better, speaking and writing about it is easier and necessary. I am empowered to speak and write about my journey of mental wellness to inspire hope. It is my passion for sure. Thank you for reading and for your great perspective on this.

  5. I can relate to this on so many levels. I have PTSD, and a long string of other diagnoses have followed me through the years, yet I have learned it has all been PTSD related. I recently started this new blog. I had one 10 years ago, which I approached by just jumping in and sharing my story. I think I may have scared some people off by doing that. This time I have been blogging about God, and His love, which I agree with you 100% that He is the One who deserves the glory. I am slowly starting to open up in my writing. I shared one or two poems which I wrote in the middle of a completely miserable time in my PTSD. So, I am there with you when it comes to the stigma and fear related to mental illness. And I’m glad you are sharing your story because you’re right. It is a miracle that you are here, just as it is for many of us. I believe the more we share, and the more of us join in doing this, it will help others to be educated about what true mental illness is and I hope that fear can start to disappear. So keep up the good work! And thanks for sharing because this has inspired me to open up more. I definitely think it is needed and can help others. I am praying for you! 😊

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