Why I’m Open About my Mental Illness

I can’t tell you how many times I have received a private message on social media from someone saying “I wish I had the confidence to openly talk about my mental illness like you do.” And while it makes me smile because I feel like I’m making a difference, it also makes me frown because I remember the stigma society has placed on mental illness.

It’s almost like mental illness is a taboo topic, one that people are afraid to talk about. Just because I have a mental illness doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. I’m a good person, and the vast majority of those suffering from a mental illness are good people. Society just chooses to see them in another light.

That’s why I’m so open about who I am and the struggles I’ve gone through. I want to help the world see that you can be successful with mental illness, you can be a good person with mental illness. Mental illness doesn’t define who I am, it’s just a small part of what makes us so unique.

We all have quirks and things that make us who we are, and my mental illness is one of those things. I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of the experiences I’ve gone through. They haven’t always been easy, but there’s always been a lesson to be learned.

I want to show those who struggle with their mental illness that there is hope. That your illness won’t stop you from winning. I want to inspire them to want to do and be more. Because nobody should feel ashamed of their illness.

I want to help educate the uneducated. And I don’t say that in a derogatory way, sometimes it truly isn’t a person’s fault that they didn’t understand something. We’re raised and molded as we grow to believe a certain thing. Many people have never stopped to think why are people with mental illness taboo?

The conversation has to start somewhere. I intend to start that conversation wherever and whenever I can. The more people I can reach and the more people that hear my message, the more change we can see in the world.

I’ve lived my life by the mantra ‘If I make one person smile or laugh a day, I’ve had a good day.’ I want to help people and see them smile. I want to make a difference and create a better future for my kids one day because, let’s be honest, the chances of my kids having a mental illness are high.

Published by Tyler Wittkofsky

Tyler Wittkofsky is a multi-genre author, blogger, award-winning marketing and communications professional, and fierce mental health advocate from the southern coast of North Carolina. Tyler has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember. Growing up the grandson of an English teacher, Tyler had a constant fuel to his creative fire in his grandmother. He started writing poetry in 2012 to cope with his mental health struggles with anxiety, bipolar, and depression. Using poetry as an escape, he developed a unique style of poetry that has left readers saying, “Tyler’s voice is compassionate, even while suffering, and I felt the despair and loneliness seeping out through his words.” His first poetry collection, composed of poems written from 2012 to 2016, was published in March 2020. He began his first novel in 2019. The novel, (Not) Alone, was a story based on true events surrounding the struggles of living with mental illness. Described by readers as “An Intimate Closure with Mental Illness,” this began Tyler’s revitalized passion for mental health. He decided that his writing would have a focus on mental health. His next novel, The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book One, was his debut romance novel and debut series. Described as “a great job of relaying the realistic emotions of young love and emotional drama that is particularly difficult for young adults…”, his debut romance novel was met with much success. In 2021, Tyler began writing short stories. He was accepted into several anthologies in mid-2021, expected for publication in early 2022. He also writes supernatural horror and historical fantasy for the online magazines In the Pantheon and In the Crescent. He has work published through Five Minute Affairs as well. He built his website www.TeaButWithCoffee.com in 2021. On this site, he started his blogging journey. He began writing book reviews, interviewing indie authors, and writing on mental health. This passion sparked a new desire to connect with more people. Tyler is currently in the beginning stages of two podcasts that he hopes to be live by the end of 2021. Tyler currently lives in Leland, North Carolina with his wife, Grace, and dogs, Dutch and Belle. You can find him and his works here: https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky

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