Sept. 22, 2013
That early December morning I found blogspot.com and set up this page. I decided to call myself "Still Hopeful Mom" because I still had hope that my son would acknowledge his illness and finally seek treatment. Then I wondered how I could share my story without revealing it to my friends and/or family. How could I find others who may want to read my story while still remaining anonymous?
With very little experience using Twitter, I decided to give that a go and set up an account. Posting a link to my very first entry, I wondered if anyone would even read it. I checked my Twitter account over the next few hours. One. Two. Five. Ten. I was getting readers who then "followed" me on Twitter and I in turn "followed back." Within a few days I was up to about fifty followers. That felt good, like I was making a difference. Like something I was sharing may be positively impacting others' lives. I kept blogging and people kept reading.
It has been about nine months now. As I've continued on my blogging journey using Twitter and later Reddit as my vehicles, I have had the privilege to "meet" hundreds of people whom I consider cyber-friends. These people come from all over the world. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. They are mental health care workers, teachers, film makers, and writers, and most importantly they are stigma fighters. Because over time, this blog has morphed into one voice for ending the stigma of mental illness.
Through this blog, I've heard from people facing all sorts of challenges and I've been asked for advice on a variety of mental health related subjects. I have never pretended to be any kind of psychiatry expert. Who knows? Maybe that's a plus. All I have to offer is my own experience which seems to be actually helping other people.
I know I am merely a whisper in this vast cyber universe. And I'm so thankful that my whispers sometimes strike a chord with people. I've heard from mothers trying to connect with their bipolar sons and sons trying to detach from their emotionally abusive fathers. I've even heard from teenagers seeking a "mother's advice" while on the verge of self-harm. I never expected this blog to be anything more than a place for me to unload. And yet, somehow it has become so much more. Now I've found myself on an unexpected road traveling with courageous people who have stories of their own to tell. I feel so privileged to walk beside them.