Yesterday I had a talk at school from an ex-prisoner from a US high security prison. He snuck out letters and his aunt wrote them up onto a blog [Jon’s jail journal] so that he could share his story and the horrific things happening in that prison to raise awareness. Each time he snuck a letter to his aunt, he was risking another 5 years in prison. Yet he did it anyway, in the hope that one day people would read it and the appalling conditions would change.
Now this got me thinking. To me, anorexia and other mental health illnesses were, and are still, a prison to me. It keeps you trapped in a never-ending cycle of self hate and the desire to be someone else. True, you don’t watch people getting murdered in front of your very eyes (like the ex-prisoner), but each day you struggle a little bit of you is dying. I have no reason not to write my story, to share how awful things were and sometimes still are in my mind; maybe one day I could get the media attention he did, and mental illnesses could be taken seriously. His blog attracted thousands of page views; and the prison he was in? It got shut down. Sure, there is still a lot wrong with US prisons, but he is slowly slowly pulling the bricks away and soon justice will come.
Obviously it is most likely I won’t be getting the same sort of media attention as ‘Jon’s jail journal‘, but I feel like it is the least I can do to try to bring mental illnesses to light and tell people what it’s really about.
So join me in my journey to try to spread awareness. Share and follow, and together we will raise awareness of mental health illnesses.