I’m at Kent State for an ASNE Journalism Fellowship, and I’ll blog about this experience sometime next week. But today I wanted to be sure to blog about Project Semicolon.
Never heard of it? Then click on the link and read about it.
When it really hit me that I was publishing a memoir, I had to get to a headspace where I was okay with my inner thoughts being on display. Even though I’ve been blogging for ten years, most of what I blog is filtered. It’s qualified. It’s sanitized. And typically, only about a dozen people read any given post, so even when it does get a little heavy around here, my audience is small.
But with the book coming out in the fall, and this nasty habit I have of getting older, I find that I truly am caring less and less what people think, and I find more and more importance in sharing some of my darker elements.
Last Friday, a teacher I’ve been following on Twitter for years posted this
There’s not a soul on this planet that isn’t fighting some kind of battle. For some, those battles can be seen on the surface. For others, those battles might be invisible, and partly of our own doing. The personas we post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram often create the illusion that we are more than fine–we are perfect. And we’re not. I’m not.
I fight depression. I am lucky–I don’t have people in my life who tell me (to my face, anyway) to snap out of it, or let it go, or pray more. I have people in my life who seek understanding and who are compassionate. I have a wonderful therapist. I have a toolbox of cognitive behavior therapies that keep me functioning in the midst of a depressive episode.
Today, in solidarity with Mr. Provenzano, I am hoping that anyone who stumbles on my blog who does not have a clear understanding of what it’s like to live with depression seeks to understand. I am hoping that today, his campaign of #semicolonEDU will remind educators around the world that some illnesses can’t be readily seen. Even among their own colleagues.
As educators, we tell our students that knowledge is power. And we need more power in lifting the stigma that accompanies mental health. So today, I invite you to search for #semicolonEDU on Twitter and Instagram and see what’s out there. Read some stories. Seek to understand. Learn about mental health and how you might help your friends and loved ones who fight this battle daily.