During a survivor journey, there are special breakthrough moments that one never forgets. Those times when that may seem quite stressful and difficult as they unfold, but looking back they were paramount to healing.
One of those breakthrough moments can come when you first gather up the courage to share your story through writing or perhaps a podcast. A great place to do that, and feel right at home among countless others who are letting the world know that they are not ashamed, is Stigma Fighters.
In fact, one of the first places I ever shared my story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic abuse, and bullying, was back on March 23, 2016, on Stigma Fighters. Even though Surviving My Past had already been in existence for nearly 2 months by then, there was something very inspiring, and terrifying, about putting my story out there on another outlet. I can remember feeling quite apprehensive about clicking on that “submit” button and sending over my thoughts to Sarah Fader and her team.
After I did it though, and received word that it was published on Stigma Fighters, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and of empowerment, at the same time. It was a key moment in my recovery that I will never forget, and something that inspired me to put my story out on many other advocacy blogs and websites.
So on that note, and the power of sharing your story, who better to introduce as my guest on this episode of Surviving My Podcast, than Sarah Fader herself. I had thought about scheduling a show with Sarah for some time, and once we were able to get a time worked out I was super stoked to talk with this person who had done so much for me (in ways she may have never realized), and of course for so many others.
During my chat with Sarah, we talk about how Stigma Fighters got started, and how this vision was born and subsequently has grown and flourished into a full on mental health non-profit organization dedicated to helping real people living with mental illness. It’s has been featured on Good Day New York, Psychology Today, Women’s Health Magazine, The Washington Post, and other amazing outlets including the New York Times.
We also discuss the power of sharing your story, and the different ways that you can put together your thoughts into a post that you can submit to Stigma Fighters. You don’t have to be a professional writer or blogger; all it takes is just the courage to put yourself out there in any way that you are comfortable with; some use poetry, some will write in story form, others will simply share facts and timelines; it’s all about what works for you.
Once you let the world know that you are not ashamed of your past and what you struggle with in life, you are immediately part of a family full of supporters who will cheer you on as they read what you’ve so openly and vulnerably shared. The affect that your bravery has on the lives of others can be incredible. From that moment forward, you are not only helping yourself but potentially countless others who will read your story and feel connected to you, in perhaps ways that they never imagined were possible.
Sarah and I talk about the need for taking care of yourself as an advocate for mental health awareness. As a blogger and podcaster myself, I know all too well how quickly burnout can set in if I’m not careful to take some down time periodically and practice good self-care. I’m by no means perfect at it, as you’ll hear on the podcast, I’m human just like everyone else :). Over the years of blogging and working on my own survivor journey, the need for taking care of myself has become evident and paramount. Sarah also echos these thoughts and talks about how she places a high importance on her own well-being, so that she can continue doing the amazing work on half of all those who live with mental health challenges.
We also discuss other topics like the Stigma Fighters Anthology, and so much more so be sure and grab those headphones or plug us into your car and give the show a listen as Sarah and I chat about the world of mental health advocacy and the power of sharing your story.
If you would like to submit your story to Stigma Fighters, or if you’d like to know more about the process, just head over to their submission page and check it out.
Thank you again Sarah for chatting with me. I’m honored to call you a friend and fellow advocate, and proud to count myself among the many, many others who are not ashamed to share our stories.
Images of Sarah Fader and Stigma Fighters used with her permission. Feature image courtesy of Pixabay.