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Speak Out

Get inspired by those who speak out. Whether through blogging or marching, make your voice heard.

  • Want to participate? Publish a new post — in any genre or medium — in response to the theme. Create a pingback to this challenge to share your post with the community. Learn More.

Only one month into 2017, and it seems like one of this year’s themes is to speak out. From the many women’s marches that recently took place around the world to campaigns like Bell Canada’s #BellLetsTalk, a day dedicated to reducing mental health stigma, people have been sharing their stories and voicing their concerns.

The latter campaign is the focus of “Even Warriors Get the Blues,” a featured Discover post by Anne Marie of These Are My Scars. Having dealt with depression and anxiety in the past, Anne Marie talks about how she braced herself for their potential return when she was diagnosed with cancer.

As she shares her experience of working with therapists, the ways in which her depression manifested, and the complex feelings of guilt and anger she endured as she worked through these emotions, she shares the power she felt in finding a group of people with common experiences to validate her own:

All the emotions that were suppressed around everyone else bubbled up and escaped when I would talk to other survivors. I was able to express my fears to them and not be afraid that they would fall apart, or become fearful for me, I knew I wasn’t burdening them like I would with my family. They got it, because many of them wore the same mask, they could see past the BS of “I’m fine” and they called my bluff.

At WordPress.com, our philosophy is to democratize publishing. Through making it easier for more and more people to share their stories online, we foster these connections between writers and bloggers. The more voices are shared, the more we’re able to validate each other’s experiences and be a force of change in the world.

So this week, let’s talk. What do you feel stigma or shame about, whether personally or at a cultural level? How can we change that? If you were to start a national, or international, campaign to get people talking, what would it be? Share your experience, and see how many people relate. As an added challenge, take a moment to find other people’s stories through the WordPress.com Reader this week. If something resonates, comment, connect, and build community together.

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  1. The greatest way to raise awareness for me would be by blogging! It may change something in this world just as how it has changed my life towards accepting and falling in love with my darkness! xoxo ✌

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree, it took a lot of courage for me to publish public blogs – and to leave them public. I lost my nerve a couple of times but I think I’ve found my groove now. Enjoying this community and connecting and learning through the diversity of conversation that arises from various posts.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Somewhat new at this – is the intention only to solicit posts written in response to this prompt, or does the request include recent works that meet the prompt criteria?

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    1. Up to you! For the blogging challenges, the idea is to help prompt a new post, but if you have a recent post you’ve already shared, you’re more than welcome to include that 🙂

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  3. My voice has been activated in these times. I will ping back on my latest article, but I’ll go ahead and post it here. I am a professor and life-long feminist. At first, I was horrified, shocked, and angry, and then it hit me that I create unity in all of my classrooms and lead my students to greater understanding. I treat them with respect and they give me respect. These times have forced me to become a teacher to the rest of the world. https://triciabarkernde.com/2017/01/31/i-stand-for-love-compassion-unity-and-community/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. https://screamingcoffin.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/finding-time-to-redecorate/

    I decided last year to out myself—again—as a multiple personality. I don’t have any shame or stigma about being different from the norm, because I know there is no norm. The safe little boxes that people try to classify as normal, don’t work for the majority. Everybody has issues. Everybody totes around baggage, some is visible, but most simply bumps along in our wake as we stumble through life.

    I speak out for mental illness. I understand that my others may seem frightening to some—thanks a lot Hollywood—but we feel we’re the normal ones. I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone who wasn’t at least a little bit depressed or anxious. There is nothing wrong with feeling blue! A chemical imbalance causes disease, whether mental or physical. There is no difference, there should be no difference between the ‘real’ illnesses and the ones that only affect the brain.

    What’s going on in Washington, D.C. right now has galvanized millions into realizing they have a voice. Don’t believe those that would divide the country and the world into pockets of dangerous neighbors. This is not a political statement, but politicians of all parties, of all nations, thrive best when the people they seek to govern fight among themselves for influence and attention. We The People is not a political slogan, but is our heritage, flawed as it was and still is, with a shameful history behind it, but it is ours to claim if we are bold enough to speak out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your post says it all. But I want you to know how rich I found every word. Thank you for articulating this and showing the link to the fun, free and peaceful belonging that we all long for

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  5. When I started my blog, I was like you and your boyfriend—excited. Hell, very enthusiastic and eager to keep it filled with awesomeness that screams and says, ‘hey, my life is amazing!’

    But, hell no, it’s not. Just yesterday, I decided to #speakout and tell y’all how I feel as I am and not behind a pseudonym of sorts. Are you one who is lost and in search, too?

    Join me, please, and I shall give you a follow back: https://drunknonfic.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/heartbreak-drama-and-lady-gaga/

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