May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
1 in 5. The number of people who will be affected by mental illness in any given year.
This person is sitting next to you.
This person is living in your house.
This person is a part of your family.
This is you.
Even if this disease is not yours to fight, you are impacted by knowing and loving someone who is.
A semicolon. A pause. An indication of connection between sentences. Often causing confusion, yet important to empathize relationships. A pause to let the reader know there is more to the story.
The semicolon can be described as stronger than a comma but weaker than a period. An apt description.
However, the semicolon is more than just this. It continues the sentence where a period could be placed.
And I am stronger than depression and anxiety. I am more than what it tells me I am.
It will not be my ending period.
My disease makes me pause in my day. It makes me stop and care for myself.
But it doesn’t end me.
I have more to my story. And so do you.
Share it. Talk about it. Reveal it. Display it.
There is no shame. Don’t let it become your end. Let it be a part of your story. One that you overcome every day.
Support your 1 in 5. Show them that you see them. You hear them. You love them. Show them that their disease does not make them less of a person.
My name is Katie. I am 1 in 5.