Coffee and Contemplation: Mad Pride Month

While it can be celebrated anytime, Mad Pride Month is celebrated in July. Mad Pride began in 1993 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It formed in response to the negative stigma from local communities towards people with mental illness. The purpose of Mad Pride is to reclaim terms like “mad,” “nutter,” “psycho,” etc. from misuse. The goal is to educate the general public on mental health, and it’s causes. It took more than 20 years for depression to be recognized as a disease. Mad Pride doesn’t mean accepting one is crazy and moving on. It means recognizing that not everyone falls into what society calls “normal.”

I have struggled with my mental health for several years. I have often felt alienated by others because I didn’t fall into their definition of normal. They never realized that they didn’t fall into my definition of normal. As Morticia Addams from The Addams Family (1991) said, “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” I like the idea of saying something like I have a mental illness and I’m recovering and I’m proud of that. I don’t think it means being proud of awful behavior. It’s about being proud of your own journey. Be proud of your normal. Take pride in your madness but don’t let it control you. 

PTSD Awareness Day

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and June is National PTSD Awareness Month. There is a misconception that only service members in the Armed Forces can get PTSD. Anyone can have Post-Traumatic Stress. This can happen after any type of trauma such as being robbed or assaulted. It is not exclusive to military combat. People who experience consistent trauma for several years, such as Prisoners of War (POW) or children who grow up with abusive parents, can develop Complex-PTSD. This is not recognized as separate from PTSD but more like a subcategory. Though most of the symptoms are similar there are a few differences.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder. Sufferers often deal with both anxiety and depression. Symptoms can be severe making it difficult to find medication or treatments that work. I suffered childhood trauma and have lived with PTSD most of my life though I was unaware for most of it. I often use writing to cope with many things I struggle with. I have had difficulty making friends and more difficulty keeping those friends. Most of my struggles I brought on myself. Its only in the last year that I’ve tried to change how I talk to and about myself.

Last year, I self-published a collection of my personal writing from different blogs into one book. Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. I shared many things I went through at those times. Many people would comment expressing how much they could relate or how much they appreciated what I wrote. So, today and tomorrow, June 27 – 28, the eBook is free on Amazon Kindle. I hope my thoughts I shared in the book will help others. Click the title in this post or check my Projects Page.

To anyone living with PTSD or any mental illness, you’re not alone. Never give up. Never surrender. It does get better, but first you have to be kind to yourself. That means changing how you think about and talk about yourself. Good luck.

Coffee & Contemplation: Pride Month

June is Pride Month. It’s about being proud of who you are and your sexuality, whatever it is. Homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, demisexual, asexual; it comes in all shapes and sizes. The point is being proud of who you are. I identify as demisexual. This means I cannot reach full sexual arousal unless I have an emotional connection with the person. I’m not going to go into further details in this post. 

June is also PTSD Awareness Month. May was Mental Health Awareness Month so we’ll continue spreading awareness. June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day, and I’ll share more about that around that time. I have PTSD from various traumas I’ve experienced since childhood. This also caused me to have anxiety and depression. I have spent the last few years attempting to overcome some of my issues. I succeeded in some places and failed in others. 

The biggest thing for me is to no longer feel ashamed of having a mental illness. And to no longer feel ashamed of past transgressions. I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve lost people I cared about because I wouldn’t face my problems. I won’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I ask that everyone have pride in fighting against a mental illness. Be proud of the progress you’ve made. The point of Pride Month is to love yourself. So, bring awareness to your community and be proud of everything you’ve overcome.