It was nearing the end of September. I had just been hired at a local supermarket which would be my first job in 2 years. It was retail. It was going to be very tough for me. But I was willing to challenge myself to do it anyway as it seemed to be a more supportive and respectful environment than the previous jobs I’ve had. I also wrote a blog post about this around that time. EVERYBODY on twitter was thrilled. I must have gotten at least 400 likes from my tweet telling everyone the good news. And every 20 minutes, someone would comment saying “Congrats” or more. And of course, I would reply to everyone thanking them for their constant support.
But that isn’t really what this final chapter in my social media journey is about. As the job did not go well in the end and it was more triggering than ever. Especially as I was no longer numb and could crumble easily at that time. So this right here is what kept my purpose, confidence and optimism in my future continue well into…well..the future. Don’t know? These links will tell you…
To clarify if those links still were not clear enough on what I am talking about, I mean the MH Crisis Angels.
It all started when a fairly new mental health advocate on twitter started following me and a bunch of other advocates late in the summer. I participated in one of her weekly campaigns called #ManUpMonday which speaks against the stigma surrounding men’s mental health in society and how “masculinity” is toxic because it forces people like me to suck it up, show no emotion and “man up”. But I digress. In late September, she and another advocate were starting a brand new twitter group called the MH Crisis Angels that brings together several people in the DM section of twitter to offer peer support to other people on twitter with mental health problems, people who are feeling alone with no one to talk to or understand, or people who are in a crisis of some sort and need to be pointed to professional resources to help them.
In no time at all I had bonded with every member of the team I had worked with in helping people struggling that reach out to us. We are seriously like a family and we offer each other just as much support as we give to the many others who we help. Had I not started my blog back in late March and joined Twitter a month later for the one purpose of just self-promotion, I never would have imagine this would get me to where I am now. In fact I share my overall experiences with the Crisis Angels in this blog post here which I wrote but was posted on the MH Crisis Angels new blog which was created just a couple weeks ago.
Now it’s January 2019. New mental health campaigns. Tons of support from all of us to each other and just people at large. All through social media. I know. Sounds silly to the average person because social media, much like mental health, has a negative stigma around it. While more often than not unfortunately, the stigma is around for many valid reasons. But social media (especially twitter) can be used for a positive purpose too. And this year with so many new campaigns and new ideas from all of us starting new groups on our own, we are making this the year to #EndTheStigma and educate the general public about what we fight through every day, why and how. So glad to have connected with all of these people. It’s all online and we’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart, but this really feels like we all live in the same neighborhood and I feel far less alone than I ever did living around people IN PERSON during college.