“What’s wrong?” is probably one of the most frequently used phrases I have heard throughout my life. For me, I usually never knew how to answer this question because I used to not understand my feelings at all. I have gotten better at learning to explain myself and my actions to the people around me in a way that may help them understand what is going on inside my head.
When I try to explain mental illness to people, I like to use the analogy of darkness. We all experience darkness every day. How you respond to that darkness is what makes the difference. There are many different responses. Some people immediately scream and start freaking out, contributing nothing to solving the problem. Some people are paralyzed and feel like if they move, something horrible will happen. These people disappear into the darkness. Then there are people who will just turn the lights back on or light a candle. These people have learned that they can solve the problem of being in the dark for themselves.
Hi, my name is Meredith. I am scared of the dark. I am a senior at Alter High School. I have four sisters, one brother, two very loving parents, and two adorably mischievous cats. I love to sing, dance, and act. I have bipolar disorder. I am the manager of a small café. I am obsessed with pineapples and the color purple. All these things make up who I am as a person. Some of them may have more of an effect on my life than others, but they are all necessary to truly describe me.
To address it right away… yes, I am afraid of the dark, and yes, I am a senior in high school. It is not particularly the literal darkness that scares me, although it is pretty terrifying, but the internal darkness I have struggled with my whole life. I believe that everyone has some sort of internal darkness. It could be stress, anxiety, or just any negative thoughts. Just how people react to the literal darkness in different ways, people deal with their internal darkness differently. Throughout this little blog I will be delving deeper into my own concept of internal darkness.
We are absolutely THRILLED at all of the positive engagement and strong students that reach out to us wanting to help others sharing their stories, personal battles and triumphs. Meredith Russ is most certainly one of those people.
We are so excited Meredith will not only share her story, she will be a regular contributor on our blog in a section titled "A Light in the Dark." Meredith will be posting on a regular basis beginning this week detailing her own journey while engaging others who face the similar challenges.
Stories and inspiration from people all over the nation making the decision to come together as a community of people who want to spread love, joy and peace and break down the barriers of racism, hatred, violence and prejudice of any kind. We're all in this together.