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Recently I found my voice.
I do not mean I could not speak. I mean I could not speak up.
I have known people to battle mental illnesses my entire life and I have listened to them and thought, they need a voice. And also thought, I am not that voice. But recently, while taking a class on writing my heart out, I realized I do have a voice, an opinion, and my own battles with mental health that I could voice.
Speaking up for a cause you believe in is noble, but I am a libra. I can see both sides and usually pick none.
Keeping silent though, while I was passionate about mental health issues, struck me as wrong. I was just gliding along instead of standing up for what I believed in, just because I believed I had a tiny voice. I thought I had nothing to say and no one to say it to.
But recently after taking this class, I realized my voice is just as important as everyone else’s voice. Some people cannot even speak for themselves when it comes to their mental health, so I stood tall and I wrote about mental health issues like depression. Instead of lying complacent and silent, I opened my mouth and told my story.
My voice had been found because I wrote my heart out. I was not passionate before about mental health and learning how to be there for others. So, I listened to their stories and I opened my mouth. I knew mental health issues still held a hushed tone, and I have had friends who struggled and no one spoke for them when they were shredded inside and out, and could not voice the help they needed. While keeping my mouth shut, I thought I was helping them—but I actually, I hurt them by not speaking up and helping them get the help they needed.
I found my voice and I now use it. I speak up about mental health issues. I talk about the darkness of depression, and the feeling of despair. I learn all I can about mental health issues and voice my opinions. I listen to my friends and now I can direct them to counselors, suicide hotlines, and other sources to help. My voice is no longer hushed and I refuse to let mental health issues stay in the dark any longer.
Choosing to use your voice is powerful. Your words and your strength are needed when others are in the dark. Your voice is the power that can bring these issues into the light. Collectively, we can remove the stigmatism that goes along with mental health issues. We can hide our voices and be ignored, or we can use them and shine a light on depression, anxiety, and many other mental health issues.
Right now, right here, I put down my libra scales, I am fighting for light to be shone where my voice falls, right on mental health issues.
I have battled depression throughout my life, I have hidden my issues due to shame and feeling like I was letting loved ones down—but now, now I have my strong and confident voice and I won’t let it lay dormant any longer, and neither should you!
Now is the time to find your voice and use it to help others who need you. It may not be mental health issues for your voice, it may be suicide prevention, but whatever you are passionate about, now is the moment to let your voice shine.
Thank you for the Elephant Academy’s Write Your Heart Out course.
I thought I knew enough to be a wallflower, a watcher of the world and its injustices, but thanks to this course, I have learned to use my voice and not be afraid of judgment, but to be afraid of not using it. Afraid of letting people who I know continue to suffer when there is no need to.
Find your voice, give it strength, and go be vocal about your beliefs too.
Title inspired by: “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” ~ Maggie Kuhn