I first heard about One Brave Night on Spotify. Random I know, but I heard an ad for the campaign while working out one morning at the gym, and I remember thinking to myself…that seems like a really nice idea. I knew that I wanted to participate, but #1. I wasn’t sure how to, and #2. Despite WANTING to participate there was a part of me that was really unsure if I was ready to talk really openly about mental health with anyone.
I’ve noticed that more and more people are getting help for mental health, and at least here in Canada that the stigma around mental health is beginning to erode, but after a lifetime of masking behaviours I think that it’s really hard to peel back the armour and let even those you’re closest to in on what’s really going on.
The truth is anxiety is a part of my life, sometimes it prevents me from fulfilling my desires, and sometimes it impacts my ability to live my values. However, in the past couple of years I’ve started to open up to small groups of family and friends about my struggles, and It’s no coincidence that this “opening up” comes after deciding to try therapy and medication…again.
As a person who has lived with anxiety my entire life, I’ve learned that there are times when the anxiety has a greater hold and other times when it’s influence is weaker. Right now I’m at a point in time where the anxiety isn’t as strong, and so I’ve found it easier to be more open about my mental health. Therefore, I decided to participate in One Brave Night, CAMH’s campaign to inspire hope in Canadians living with mental illness.
We hosted a pizza and paint night party, where we talked about mental health as we painted and we shared our experiences in a fun, positive and judgement-free space.