yesterday’s let’s talk bell campaign was another successful day. $5,472,585 was raised just by tweets and text messages.
unfortunately, it seemed way too short.
i meant to participate but didn’t get a chance to until after dinner. while watching all these celebrities and athletes talk about their own struggle with mental illness, i turned to doug and said, “wouldn’t it be great, if one year, not too far from the future, this could be a whole week rather than just one day? or better yet, a whole month?”
when we think about awareness and fundraising for research for breast cancer or prostate cancer, generally, it takes place over a period of a month.
one day a year where we, as a nation, talk about mental illness is still a great start. it’s something, even several years ago, we just weren’t doing enough of. but wouldn’t it be great if it were longer?
listening to all the inspiring success stories and seeing people come together to make a stronger voice just made me, personally, feel stronger. logically, i know i shouldn’t be ashamed of my illness. that it’s not my fault. but still, there’s so much stigma that scares me and keeps me from being completely open about what i’m going through.
when i sent yesterday’s message out to friends and family, i found myself going back to some of the people in my list, and deleting them.
(and if you are one of those people who did not get an email from me, i do apologize. it’s nothing personal, but i have to take baby steps. a smaller group is all i can handle right now when i communicate something like this.)
i didn’t mention, in my email, that this was a personal challenge – that i was also spreading awareness because it’s support i need for myself as well as for others. even though i know a good handful or two of those people on my distribution list know about what i’m going through. yet still – i was not able to bridge the push for the campaign and my own personal struggle as something that is very much connected.
at least not to an audience that size.
but it shouldn’t be this way – and i know this. very much. so i hope next year, i can start the message with, “Dear Friends and Family, as some of you know, I have been struggling with mental illness for quite some time now…. which is why this campaign has a special place in my heart….”
maybe one day, i will have the courage to do this.