About Me

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Why do I tell my story?

I have been asked this a heap of times over the years, why do you get up in front of people, be vulnerable and tell your story?

The simple answer to give is to help others.

The not so easy answer to give is multi faceted.

  1. Yes it helps others. I know so many who are struggling and don't have a voice. They cannot speak about their journey for a variety of reasons, all of which I completely validate and support. When I speak to an audience, I am speaking on their behalf as well. I want to and need to give those that cannot speak a voice. They need to be heard and deserve to be heard.
  2. Stigma. It is vile. There are a number of ways that I can reduce stigma that are in my control. What I can control by giving a talk is educate and show people that living with a mental health condition is not by choice. We do not choose to suffer, we do not choose to have our lives turned upside down, we do not choose to question everything we do, we do not choose to have our self worth obliterated. We do however, choose to do the best we can with what we have got. I always figure that there will be someone in the audience that thinks anyone suffering a mental health condition is weak, I aim to change their mind.
  3. Its healthy. When I sat in hospital, I figured I had a ton of poison within me and my first treater actually said to me that I was weird. Now to put context on that, she said that so many of her patients do not talk, yet she couldn't shut me up. Each word I say empties that little bit more poison out of me.
  4. I can inspire people. Inspiring people is one of the great feelings a person can have. By being vulnerable and telling the deep and dark truths of my journey inspires people to look within themselves and make some corrections.
  5. It educates me. I am very humble in life as I have been humbled and it is uneasy for me to type that I am an inspiration to people but I have learnt to accept this. I have learnt to say thankyou to people who compliment something I have done instead of pushing it away.
  6. It gives me energy. I spoke before nearly 500 people one Saturday afternoon and I felt as if I could have flown home I had so much energy from it. Like a sugar hit though, I do come down of the energetic high as talking does take it out of me in the long run but it is well worthwhile. Whether that is speaking to five people or 500, the feeling of a high is so awesome.
  7. It educates others and I'm not talking about the stigma scenario here though. I am talking about genuine education. Seeing people really interested in my journey and mental health in general take it all in and then ask questions if really rewarding.
  8. I get to hear amazing stories. Inevitably I will always be approached by someone in the audience after my talk who will tell me their story of survival, of being vulnerable, of incredible things they have done since. I am incredibly grateful that they feel comfortable enough to tell me these stories.

There are other areas that are hugely beneficial to me and others and all of these are the reasons why I do what I do.

Be well.

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