"You Are Not Alone" - Behind The Scenes

As many of you know, I am a big mental health awareness advocate. You may also know that the reason that I'm such an advocate is because I, myself, struggle with mental health issues. I feel that I've found my purpose in trying to use poetry and my other writings (I'm also a novelist, if you weren't aware) to not only spread the message of mental health awareness, but to also (hopefully) help others realize that they're not alone.

Many of my mental health-related poems are from an insider's point of view, which means that not all of them end optimistically. This is because for those that struggle with mental illness, at their lowest and loneliest, they may not derive the comfort from optimism that one might expect. Mental illness can be a very dark and scary place, and oftentimes (at least for me) optimism from others can seem almost condescending, and can also make my mood worse because it makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. "If they can just look on the bright side, then why can't I?" This is why a lot of my mental health poetry does not end that way, because I want the readers or listeners to know that they're not the only one in that dark place. That may not make everything better, but I liken it to being a kid in a dark room: It's not as scary if someone else is there with you, even if you can't see them.

With that being said, this poem is more optimistic. I've analysed my own personal experiences, and I've realized that there are certain times when certain mood pieces will effect me better than others. During those times when things aren't as difficult as others, it helps me tremendously to know that, not only does someone else understand what I'm going through, but that there's hope. This piece was inspired by, and written during, one of those moments. It is entitled, "You Are Not Alone." I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know what you think, and share it. Mental health issues are more common than one might think, so even if you don't personally deal with them I'd be willing to bet that someone that you know does, even if you're not aware of it. For that reason, I ask you to share this video (or this blog post, if you'd rather), in the hopes that it will reach as many people as possible. You never know whose life you might save. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and to watch the video.

**If you struggle with mental health issues, check out this amazing workbook on Amazon: Better Days - A Mental Health Recovery Workbook