There is a new and fabulous campaign out there called It Gets Brighter! It Gets Brighter features short videos on its website discussing and encouraging hope from those with a mental illness.
The It Gets Brighter campaign nudges people to tell their stories, rather than keep them a secret. It gives people the chance to speak out about their experiences with a mental illness or their experiences of caring for those with a mental illness. It shows people that there is always hope, even in the darkest times in our lives. Releasing our mental illness stories encourages ourselves, as well as others, to get help, AND that it is OKAY to get help.
Why Brighter? "Though we understand the deterioration and devastation marking the course of mental illness for many, we want to emphasise the tremendous scope for recovery when support and treatment are attained, and when they are separated from stigma and taboo. The ‘It Gets Brighter’ wording was chosen deliberately to inspire hope and challenge the perception, common to sufferers of mental illness, that the darkness will go on forever."One in four people in Canada will experience a mental illness sometime in their lives. But for some reason it seems to be one of the toughest things to talk about. Stigma around mental illness is the #1 reason people don't get help. Ashamed, guilty, embarrassed - just some of the words that are unfortunately associated with the way people feel about their mental illness. It's already difficult enough having a mental illness, but dealing with the burden of keeping it a secret is devastating."
I spent several years hiding my mental illness. I spent years fighting it and being ashamed of that part of me, thinking it was who I was. I was in a dark and exasperating place. There came a time I just couldn't handle it anymore. Like most people, it was probably one of the most terrifying things to reveal. But also the best thing I've ever done. Talking openly about that part of me has given me so many gifts. Its allowed me to help others, speak to the public, change careers into something I'm passionate about, and, above all, get the help I needed.
We are not our illness. It doesn't define us. I am not Bipolar. I have Bipolar.
If you'd like to view the videos or make one yourself, check out the link here: http://www.itgetsbrighter.org/