By Kimberly Zapata
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and while we here at Sunshine Spoils Milk work hard to celebrate mental health every month, I knew we wanted to do something special. To fight the stigma and to raise awareness. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t know what. In fact, May arrived without fanfare or celebration — and without me having a single idea what I could do, or should do. But that all changed yesterday, when I was speaking to my dear friend Kristen Hewitt of Mommy In Sports.
You see, Kristen and I both struggle with anxiety, yet is something she rarely writes about. It is something she rarely speaks about, and it is the one mental health matter I tend to avoid. But Kristen and I do not stay silent out of shame; we stay silent because of fear. Because of angst. Because the idea of speaking up makes us restless and nervous and because we feel our words are not good enough.
Because our illness makes us believe we are not good enough.
I joked that we stay silent #BecauseAnxiety.
And in that moment not only was a hashtag born, but an idea was born and a movement was born. A movement which (I hope) you will be a part of.
The idea is simple: go to Twitter, write a brief example of how anxiety has impacted your life — or altered your plans — and use the hashtag #BecauseAnxiety.
I text my girlfriend last night but she hasn’t responded. She’s mad at me. She hates me. #BecauseAnxiety
I am afraid to go to a dinner tonight and sociailize with a bunch of moms. #BecauseAnxiety
I didn’t sleep for 6 months after I had my first baby. #BecauseAnxiety
When I hear people whispering, I assume they are talking about me. #BecauseAnxiety
Get the idea? Good. Now go. Tweet, and help us help others. Help us make a one hell of a difference.