The time I’ve spent in the [mental health sphere] has been long and varied. I’ve moved through a lot of different diagnoses, labels, social movements, treatment plans, and ideologies over the course of my diagnosed life (which has been the majority of it).

You could call it a “lack of identity,” but for me, it was progress.

For a long time, for the majority of my life, I was silent, figuring things out in my head. Who I wanted to be, how I wanted to label myself, what parts of myself I wanted to reveal to the world…

When I decided to begin telling my story, I spoke loudly and often, and briefly, for my own benefit. My story was soon scooped up and co-opted by advocacy organizations for their own benefit. My trauma became marketable without my consent, and my world shrank as the way I was allowed to express myself was confined by organizational best practices. I started to question who I was when I didn’t even have control over my own narrative. It felt like I was becoming complicit in my own oppression.

Recently, for reasons not unknown to myself and my close circle, my perspective has shifted. I’ve been silent for a while figuring things out in my head, as I do.

Time to speak again.