Silver Ribbons

A lot of us hide behind our words. It's easier that way. Usually, anyway.

But then the voices inside our heads that can only be expressed with our fingers on our blogs or in our journals or in our essays remind us that we can't always keep the secrets at bay.

If we had cancer or leukemia or a physical disability that other people could actually see. . . it might be easier. . . maybe. But instead we have our prescriptions and our therapists and our internal struggles and our own issues with shame because we know there is something. . . different. . .

And sometimes that makes us feel like less than we actually are.

Just a few days ago, Jenny Lawson (everybody's favorite Bloggess) bravely and beautifully told the world about her struggles with depression and self-harming behavior that she is hoping to get under control before her young daughter is old enough to really see what is going on. Jenny spoke about the cycle of depression and how it affects us and our families and how no one really understands the guilt that comes along with each breath as we realize how much everyone else had to pick up the slack because we were just working on being.

And survival. And pride. For us and those who love us. Jenny talked about those things to.

We listened, empathized, related, and shared. Because that's what not hiding behind our words can do for those we are connected with. Using our words to open even the tiniest pieces of our souls to the world has power. And with that power comes acceptance and love and understanding and validation. .  and even more pride.

Because we survived.

I wear a silver ribbon because:

  • there are things I'm not brave enough to share yet but. . .
  • my sister is manic depressive
  • I am clinically depressed
  • eating disorders never really go away
  • happiness comes wrapped in a tiny little capsule
  • Obsessive-compulsive scab picking is how I self harm
  • when I tell you that there's no shame in mental illness, I mean it but. . .
  • I'm not quite sure that rule applies to me
  • and I want it to

Thank you, Jenny. Thank you for using your words to bring us all to a better place that includes support and love and self-acceptance.

Why do you wear a silver ribbon?

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This post originally appeared on Owning Pink.