Hey guys. My name is Louise Gornall, and I’m the author of Under Rose-Tainted Skies, a YA contemporary featuring a girl battling with OCD and Agoraphobia. Ayah asked me over today to share with you my top 5 ways to tell people you have a mental illness. This is a tricky one. See, we’re all so different. In 10+ years of suffering with my own mental health, I’ve yet to find two cases that are the same. That’s to say, these top 5 aren't set in stone. They aren't gospel, but rather snippets of advice, because only you know how best to handle this.
1) This is a big battle. Please consider trying not to fight it alone. A huge ask, I know. And it’s scary to put yourself out there, with all your vulnerabilities on show. I compare it to being naked in public. There is no real way around this feeling. It just is. Which sucks, but you can lessen the blow. Talk to doctors, medical professionals, people you’re not striving for acceptance from or emotionally tied to, first. These people aren't going to judge you. They see mental health, more than a badly behaved mind would ever allow you to believe. Eventually, these people will help you to get to a point where you feel confident enough to confide in a parent, a guardian, or a friend.
2) You’re not alone. As isolated as you feel, there are people out there who know what you’re going through and want to help. Mental illness is a master at making you feel alone. This isn't true. There are communities all over the Internet, people waiting on the end of phone lines to tell you why this battle is worth fighting. Get in touch with them. There is a sort of strength that comes from community. You need someone in your corner who knows what it feels like to fall, but doesn't hesitate to pick you back up, dust off your knees without question, and tells you it’s okay.
3) You are not as crazy as you imagine. I used to think that I couldn't tell anyone about the really weird things my brain made me believe. In the book, Norah talks about black bits in her food and how they affect her eating. This came straight from my own quirky archives. I honestly thought this was one of the most pathetic fears in the world. It got so bad I would rather starve than eat something with flecks of black in it. I lost weight, lost my period, lost perspective, but when I finally found the strength to tell my therapist, she told me she’d seen this fear before.
4) This is a process. Unfortunately, telling someone about your mental health isn't going to make you better overnight. I know. I wish it did too. But it’s okay. If Lord of the Rings taught us anything, it’s that battles are long, but long doesn't equal lost. Your brain has learnt behaviours, has programmed itself to react a certain way when a certain situation arises. Think of tying your shoelaces. Now consider trying to unlearn that. The trick here is to manage your thought process. Reprogramme it to find a better way of thinking. It’s not easy, and it takes time, but it will be worth it.
5) You will most likely lose people along the way. This was the hardest lesson I learnt, and it took me the longest time to make peace with. Some people are just not equipped to deal with all the things that you’ve got going on. That’s their problem, their character flaw. Not yours. Now, I’m not going to tell you to cut people loose, but I am going to tell you that trying to make people understand and accept you is a waste of your time and an unnecessary blow to your already strained emotions. You are more than your mental health, and if people can't see that, they’re not worth your time or your effort. Those who love you know who you are, and they want to help with, not hinder, your recovery.
About the Author:
My name is Louise, and I write YA books. Sometimes contemp, sometimes horror, sometimes thriller. My debut YA contemp, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, will be published by HMH/Clarion (US), and Chicken House/Scholastic (UK) in the fall 2016/17.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is about this chick, Norah, who suffers from agoraphobia, OCD and depression. Her life is one long blur of cheese sandwiches and trash tv, until she meets the new boy next door, Luke, and he starts to challenge her way of thinking.
I’m represented by the amazing Mandy Hubbard of Emerald City Literary.
Title: hello me, it's you
Author: Anonymous , Hannah Todd ( editor)
Publisher: hello me, it's you
Publication Date: October 10th, 2016
Genre: Nonfiction, Mental Health,Mental Illness
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Links: GoodReads . Amazon
“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”
Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.
This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.
Trigger warning: Due to it’s nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.
.............." Life is nothing but a Reckless Adventure!"...............
Hello me, it's you.
You have finished reading one of the best books ever. It is not a novel, but trust me when I say this, it is a piece of writing that this world desperately needed. I know that you have read a lot of great books, some that didn't shy away from serious topics like Mental Illness . But this ? This is a book that your soul is going to devoir instantly .It is a safe haven to seek, a strong message of ( YOU ARE NOT ALONE ).
This book will make you cry, nod in agreement , and connect with people who explain how you've felt when you were dancing on the line that separates light and dark. You are going to feel the urge to highlight every single page in that book; just do it.
Don't feel ashamed of writing a book review that could show why you loved this book so much. Never be ashamed of whatever illness you have; never be ashamed of telling people about it. I am still figuring out who to always practice that last sentence, but I will figure it out. We will figure it out . Share this on your Facebook , send it to any organization that care about this subject. You never know, perhaps your darkest confession, is someone else's salvation.
Please go back and reread what you have highlighted , and keep the anonymous authors and Hannah Todd in your prayers . They are amazing brave knights, trying to walk through the darkness that exist even in the light.
Never Stop Loving yourself,
your 22 years old self.
Hello Me, it's You is a non-profit project aimed at raising awareness for mental health issues among Young Adults. It aims to break down negative stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to normalise it for young people and their families.
As a result we've collected anonymous letters by young adults about their experiences with mental health issues, and given them a platform for their experiences.