The stories I’ve never told

Did you know I went missing?

What about my loneliness story?

2018 sees me share untold stories. When I shared my childhood mental health the reaction shocked me. Someone I know publicly shared their mental health story. I want my story to empower discussions. I want my story to inspire more people to open up.

It is ok. It is ok to say you’re not ok. Take your time. I couldn’t rush. A lot has happened in my past. Step by step I was confident enough to share. The time it took was enough for me.

2018 is much more than raising money. It’s to bring people together. To promote diversity through telling stories. To highlight age is irrelevant when life can hit you at unexpected moments.

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I’ve felt lonely for most of my life. Despite being in a group at school, I felt like an outcast. I feel like an outcast in my family. Even in blogging. I’ve felt like an outcast sometimes online, and as a surprise, even as a volunteer.

A lot of moments in life have highlighted my individual ways. When I was lonely, I started to prefer it. I thought it was the best way. I thought that’s why I lost friends.

I stayed away from social circles outside of school. I didn’t want to bump into the bullies. I even attempted to run away. For half a day, my parents were worried. Police were called just before I arrived home. Some families don’t have this. Some people don’t return. That’s why I’m fundraising for Missing People.

I saw the fear in my parents eyes. I heard the worry when they tried to call. My dad took time off work. Was it my fault? Why was everything happening?

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I couldn’t turn to my nan. She died shortly before. My mum had cancer. My sister was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I didn’t want to feel like a burden. Too much was already happening.

I had to learn to be strong. I learned to use my story for good. Part of the reason I continued to volunteer so extensively was because I saw the impact my story had on those I helped.

Add the impact from volunteering with the impact from blogging. Blogging helped me to open up. One story had a reaction. Successive stories creates a discussion.

I’m not the only person who experiences the negativity in life. This is why I speak up. I’m not alone. There’s more people than we know. Just because we say we’re ok, it doesn’t mean we are.

I hope my opening up, more people will have faith in their story. A journey is full of ups and downs. We need to accept that.

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