My final guest for mental health awareness month is founder and CEO of the NPO – Stigma Fighters, Sarah Fader. Sarah shows us that despite our flaws and our ‘crazy’ we are all beautiful.
I’m Fucked Up and I Own It | Sarah Fader #DCfC
Today I can’t eat. My motivation is shot. I force myself to get out of bed, put on clothes, and go to the grocery store. But I’m wearing pajamas because it was all I could find. This is what depression looks like. But sometimes it looks different. Sometimes I don’t shower for days. Sometimes I can’t remember the last time I took a shower. But I force myself to go on. Showering is one of those hard things that is highly stigmatized. Many people with mental illness have trouble with self-care, including me. In the wintertime, I preferred to take baths so that I can lie down. It feels easier like the water is flowing over me and I don’t have to do so much work. Living with depression and anxiety is a full-time job. And I already have one of those – it’s called being a mother of two small children. It’s called being a professional writer. It’s otherwise known as being the CEO and founder of a nonprofit organization for mental illness. I am all of those things, but I also struggle every day. I fight my brain on a daily basis. So I understand you. I understand when you say that you can’t. I get it when you say it’s too hard to get out of bed. I’ve been there – this morning in fact.
Because this shit doesn’t go away. We just get stronger dealing with it. The negative voices in our minds that want us to stop – they will always be there. It’s just a matter of what we do with them. Don’t listen.
You are beautiful. The more flawed, the more fucked up, the more scared, the crazier you are, the more beautiful you are. Take out your freak flag, raise it in the air and wave it high. Because I’ve got mine out.
Every day I battle against my mind. It tells me I’m a loser. It tells me that nobody cares about me. It tells me that I’m unlovable. And I tell it to go fuck itself. Because I’m ready to live a life where I value myself. And part of living that life is accepting that my brain will not cooperate with me.
There are many of us out there feeling these feelings. There are so many human beings who feel alone in their suffering. I don’t want that. I know what it’s like to be alone and I don’t wish that upon anyone.
Take my hand in yours. Stand aside me. I’m squeezing it tight. I’m telling you that I’m just like you. Even if we are different, we are the same.
There will be people who will build you up in this life and there will be people who will cut you down. Find those people who build you up and hang onto them with all of your might.
We’re all fucked up in our own way. It takes courage to admit that. So be brave and own your fuckedupness. I do.
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She is an author and blogger, having been featured on The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.
Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.
Each piece in this series is linked on my page Depression: Catalyst for Change and the hashtag #DCfC will be used when sharing on any/all social media. We will also use the hashtags #MHA #breakthesilence and #hope. Please help us advocate for better understanding of mental illness and those affected. Share the pieces in this series on every platform you have at your disposal. Splash them across the internet. Spread the word. Join your voice with ours as we combat the stigmas surrounding these issues – together, we can make change happen.