Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I am folded and unfolded and unfolding

Two librarians I greatly admire, Cecily and Kelly, are leading an effort to raise awareness about mental health issues in and around the LIS community. #lismetalhealth week, as it's being referred to on Twitter, is raising awareness in a variety of ways--most notably a Twitter chat. Cecily and Kelly have also invited LIS bloggers to discuss the week (and the issues it seeks to address) on their blogs.

I would encourage you to visit the hashtag on Twitter to read people's stories and the discussion surrounding those stories. I am really moved by the courage people have shown in telling their stories. Stigma around the topic of mental illness--especially in communities of color--is real. And the fact that people have shown courage by talking about a piece of themselves demonstrates that.

It's also worth thinking about that for as many stories as people have told, there are countless people reading the hashtag with stories they're not ready to tell yet. And that's okay, too. Not everyone has the freedom or the privilege to disclose. And even when they do, it's not something that everyone feels comfortable disclosing.

Being who you are in a world that seeks to other you is difficult and difficult things are exhausting. I know, because I struggle too. I have binge eating disorder. And while some people joke about eating their feelings, this is a real thing for me. I eat because there are a lot of feelings I don't want to feel and so I eat to numb them.  I want to be more open about my struggle, but I feel a lot of shame so I don't talk about it.

Whether you choose to tell your story during #lismentalhealth week or not, I want to say that I see you and that I think you are brave.

Love and light,

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