Hey hello, thank you for stopping by and I am going to try my hardest not to bore you and to be as candid as I can in this little intro. Whywake, as of now, is truly just an idea. It's an idea I have been cultivating in my head for what feels like an eternity, and while I feel it coming into something greater, it still need a little push. So, I am starting small.
That actually pains me to say it. I have truly thought that if I spent enough time perfecting it, growing it in private, and thinking of it again...and again...and again, that one day it would be this immaculate and complete project, ready to take on the world and hopefully impact at least one life. But I've learned that big dreams need to be accomplished in steps, and this is the first step.
What is Whywake? Hell, that's not a word. I freakin' know it. I made it up.
I made it up because it literally sounds like the question guiding this movement, which is "why do you wake up in the morning?" Clever as heck. Let's keep going.
Mental illness sucks. Yes, it is that cut and dry. Anxiety, depression, OCD and other disorders...they creep in and take a firm hold on aspects of our livelihood, of our dignity, our relationships and self worth. The conversation about mental health has been growing, and for that I am so thankful. But Whywake is something a tad bit different that the run of the mill awareness campaign, because I realized there is still such a disconnect between those that have suffered/are suffering and those that have not/are not.
And then I realized that there is so much guilt and shame by the individual dealing with their illness, and a hefty amount of under-the-table judgment from those around them, and then even more loss of brilliant life because answers seem unattainable, support seems like a foreign concept, and the illnesses ultimately win. Loneliness wins. Self-hate wins.
And yet, we are still approaching it like an equation but you all - every brain is so very different. What works for someone, may not work for another. So I am not here to give you the solution to your problem. I am not here to tell you that "everything is fine", to keep "smiling through it", etc. etc. I cannot provide the perfect answer, and I am not going to pretend I can. Because if you are reading this and you are suffering, while I can give you all the support in the world, and I can relate to you and promise you that you will pull through and truly truly mean it...my words won't change your illness. Only you can, and only you have the power to do so. And this is your journey. If that means medicine, therapy, holistic measures, exercise, meditation...it doesn't matter. This is about you. And I am so fucking stoked for you to get through it, and to understand that life comes in so many insane twists and turns, and to hopefully help you learn just how remarkable your mind is and see you smile when YOU, yes you, wake up one morning and you truly want to.
Because let's be real, that's the hardest part. Is it not? Sleep is a reprieve. Sleep is a relief, and when your eyes open in the morning and you have to face everything that had been pulling you down the day before it hits you in your core and you may even have a physical, visceral response. But just like Whywake is starting in steps, that's what I want you to do.
My only wish is for you to search, no matter how long it takes, for a reason to wake up in the morning. Whether that's knitting a blanket for the homeless shelter, baking a cake you saw on Food Network, playing Super Mario Bros, blogging about tractors, buying a fish, tap dancing, cross-training, literally giving your dog a pat on the nose I do not care.
At my lowest point I was on a constant search for everyone around me to help me. I was waiting for the knight in shining armor, for my 16 year old friends to say the right thing every day so I didn't feel terrible about myself, for my parents to give me a magical pill that took away this feeling of doom and utter sadness that was truly coming from nowhere I could define. Every morning I stared at my ceiling, and half the week I faked sick. I remember countless mornings where I would come out of a dream and instantly feel nauseous. This was my life? This was my mind? What a funny joke. It was unbearable.
And then I found art. I found foreign music, film, television. I found out I could combine the two by blogging. I taught myself photoshop, I shared my work on a platform where people who also shared my interests came to collaborate. I started writing and reading, and then I would blog about that. I found things that excited me and I did them for me. I also had a regular therapist to get me through some of the negative emotions I couldn't quite pin, and I began to be honest with myself. "Dude, Sadie. You are in control. Let's do this."
And something crazy happened because I realized that every morning I would wake up, and no matter what horrible feeling was settling in my stomach, I could look forward to that new episode, that new chapter, that new blog post. I had this light to get me through each day. And I was healing.
I worked hard to heal, I will say that. I wanted so desperately to not feel the way I had felt and it took months. And it's a part of who I am and I still have moments when it pulls me down, six years later. But staying inspired, having something I can do just for myself and my own well being and happiness...that was the game changer.
We were all put here for a reason, which I know you've heard about a million times. But just because you haven't found your purpose or something to ignite that fire inside of you...it doesn't mean it isn't there. It is.
The people I talk to and work with in Whywake are people that have experienced the benefits of finding a reason to get out of bed, beyond mandatory class or their morning shift. I want to share their stories by utilizing the passion that saved me, so that we can start encouraging the world to get up, even when every emotion is battling against that. And it might take a while. I know it will. But dammit, we're going to try.
So why wake? It's time to find your own source of joy. It's time to utilize the gifts you were born with. And cause it's time to make your mental illness your bitch.