Over the years, more and more celebrities and prominent people have come out and shared that they have a mental illness or mental health issue. Each time a celebrity does this, especially one that I look up to and respect, it gives me a sense of relief and reminds me that I’m not the only one…that there are many other “fully functioning” people in this world living with a mental illness just like me.
Celebrities and non-celebrities alike may never know the impact that their stories have on other people’s lives. For example, I remember when I was first diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, I went online to learn more about the disease. I happened to stumble across a YouTube video of Gail and Norman Cutler talking about their daughter, Rebecca, and how Rebecca’s Dream got started. I vividly remember sitting on my bed watching that video and crying.
For a good half hour, I couldn’t stop crying. I just kept watching the video…over and over again. I was in awe of Rebecca. What a beautiful and sophisticated girl she was, how fit and in shape she was, and how stylishly she dressed. A class act, for sure. The entire time I was watching the video and listening to Gail and Norman describe Rebecca and how she lived with bipolar disorder, I kept saying to myself, “That’s me; that’s my life as well.” I felt so connected to Rebecca and could relate to her story 100%. That day meant a lot to me, and that video still holds a special place in my heart.
Those of us with mental illness can also make an impact on other people’s lives by sharing our stories. We may not know whose lives we touch, but if we touch just one person’s life, then it’s worth it.
Love and light,