Hi everyone! Ages ago I mentioned that I became an an ambassador for Project I Define Me but I haven’t spoken about it since. So here’s my shameless little plug – featuring a silly photo I took with self timer on my camera… that is definitely not my favourite. I’m not selling anything I promise! This group speaks up about mental health stigma and personal identity and I couldn’t be happier to participate.
Because of the nature of some of my struggles, one of the more central pieces in my mental health journey has surrounded discovering and cultivating my own identity outside of external things. Amidst all the change and uncertainty I am grateful to have been able to connect with a community of supportive, growth-oriented people through the Instagram recovery community. However, it was easy for me to get swept up in my pursuit of health and forget what it’s all really “for”. Project I Define Me has been a great reminder for me that your health doesn’t define you. YOU do.
You don’t get stuck with one “thing” – you are allowed to continuously grow and change and rediscover yourself throughout your life.
Not only has battling mental illness opened my eyes to who I am after having lost myself for so long, but my recent experiences have helped me truly understand a little bit of who we all are – our common humanity. We all walk a path of the shared human experience. Everyone experiences pain. Everyone feels the desire for love and acceptance. And everyone deals with it in their own way.
Mental health seems to more readily get tangled with our identities – few people identify themselves with the common cold… BUT I believe that those of us who have been tasked with having to find our way home end up with a better understanding of who we really are. I would argue that those of us who are lucky enough to have support and resources (like PDIM) to face all the challenges along the way, despite how trying they may seem, often come out the other side better off.