Honestly Speaking

*Sensitive Content*

From a very young age parents, caregivers and educators alike all try and instill in us that honesty is the best policy, but is it always?  Let’s face it, sometimes being honest with oneself or others can really hurt; A LOT. Over the last four years I have seen what honesty can do to a person who is suffering with a Mental Illness; the good, the bad and the ugly.  Being honest simply means that you are freeing yourself of deceit and that you are truthful, sincere and have integrity, but when faced with a Mental Illness it can also leave you with a great deal of judgement, hurt and anguish.

Although I had been quite open and honest about my illness from the very beginning I certainly wasn’t shouting my innermost thoughts and feelings from any rooftops to my acquaintances or strangers alike on the streets below, that was until about a year and a half ago.  For many months prior to that day I had been keeping a journal and writing for myself when I decided that maybe it was time to share my honest and true self with as many people as I could.  And although there are several parts of my journey thus far that are still too raw and painful to share (just from the past two months alone I could probably write an entire book), it is safe to say that what I have chosen to share with you up until now has been nothing short of genuine and honest.

When I made the decision to begin sharing my journey with the utmost honesty and integrity that I knew how, I didn’t know where it would take me, and I certainly didn’t know how it would wholeheartedly affect me.  I have learned first and foremost that I am not alone on my journey and that by speaking my truth I have allowed so many other people the strength to start speaking their own truth as well.  I have also discovered that through no fault of my own did I cause the onset of my illness to occur and that by learning to be honest with myself and others I have been able to recognize how important it is to set healthy and achievable boundaries with loved ones and strangers alike.  Another valuable lesson that I have uncovered recently by talking openly and honestly about my journey is that it is okay to not feel okay and that this by no means makes me weak in any way, even if I battle with this notion each and every day.

Yes being honest about my most intimate thoughts and feelings has been met with so much positive energy which has also allowed me to understand the importance of why I need to choose me each and every time as selfish as it may seem to some. But if I am going to be completely honest right now then it is probably just as important to note that my honesty has also left me in a very vulnerable and dark place.

Over the last four years it is probably fair to say that there have been many changes in my life and that it has honestly never been my intention for anyone to take them personally, especially if you could truly understand how something as simple as sending a text message, talking on the telephone or committing to any sort of engagement can turn my whole day upside down.  And I also know that my honesty can often be both frightening and overwhelming to many, especially on the days where my thoughts and feelings read something like a suicide note.  This expression of honesty has left many of my relationships strained and some entirely dissolved, but at the same time it has also strengthened many others, making them the ones that I should be most focused on.  And as much as I may be hurting some with my honesty (which causes me tremendous guilt), I would only be lying to myself if I can’t share my true self, if I can’t feel less afraid and if I can’t feel less alone.

So is there a right or wrong answer to the age-old question “is honesty the best policy”?  Even though I am living on both sides of this debate I really don’t have the answer and it’s quite possible that I never will.  All I truly know right now is that my honesty has allowed me to help educate, clarify and begin a quest to destigmatize Mental Illness by sharing my own personal journey with others, but as for that other side of the honesty debate, the one that causes some to caste judgement, hurt or look the other way, well I’m pretty sure my heart may already have the answer.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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