I’ve been criticized for talking too much about my pain. Criticized for writing too many stories about myself. But I believe it’s the only way I can keep on living.

Each time a crisis hits, each time I end up in the emergency ward, not knowing how to go on, the only thing that can keep me going is to write. I need to let people know that I’m a  person who has been  derided and treated with disdain, simply for having an illness I could not help. Ostracized by many.

Through my writing I hope to remind people of the person I’ve always been. The person whose only reason for living is to do God’s will and to pass along his love to those who suffer. The person who has worked for many years to better their lives. I’m a person who has given her all to serving God, despite suffering of her own.

I’m a person who wants to show the great damage that can be caused by stigma—not only to myself, but to many like me.

I work towards having us—those living with mental health issues—accepted for who we are. People who are doing their best to fit in. People who want to have a role to play. People who want to be appreciated like others are appreciated. People who need to be considered equally worthy.

And so, I write.