I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are

But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in
We are…

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that's what we've become (yeah, that's what we've become)

I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

- This Is Me - Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman

So recently, I went to the cinema with one of my bestfriend’s (and bridesmaid), Lauren; to see The Greatest Showman. I don’t want to include any spoilers, so I’ll just say… it was incredible!

But also… in it, Hugh Jackman plays a man who, massively, invests (not just financially) in his ideas. When others tell him he’s wrong, or try to take something away from his successes, he stands up to them and refuses to minimise or ignore his dreams and imagination.
Instead he put his all into making them happen (something, I hope, that I do myself in life). He defended those people who were ‘different’ to the rest of society, and invited them to show themselves to the world; telling them they should be proud rather than ashamed.

There was such an incredible, feel-good message to the film that unsurprisingly; it’s had me listening to the soundtrack on YouTube about twenty (no exaggeration) times!!

A few days later I found myself in a situation where the message of the musical, and my own morals and beliefs, had me questioning what this person was saying.

We were discussing mental health, and someone made a comment that they didn’t want to associate with that cause because they believed that nothing was being done about the stigma; there’d be no change. If you’ve read, I’m NOT Disordered for a while or have met me at events etc. you’ll know that diminishing the stigma against mental health is something that I devote a lot of my time to and – in fact – a large part of this blog. I’d completely disagree that no change has been made to mental health stigma because there have been some huge improvements to both people, and organisations’ attitude’s.

I think that we’re at the point where if you were to meet someone new, and tell them you have or have had, mental health problems, you won’t be met by an outwardly stigmatised response. Not so long ago, people would either; one, not talk about their mental health, and two, have the audacity to be rude and unashamedly stigmatised, confident that so many others would support such a response. But not anymore.

There’s been many videos and stories do the rounds on social media about having that exact response and it is the other person who is unsupported in their views. Personally, I’ve only ever had two spiteful comments through my work online and they were both when I first began blogging way back in 2013. I think that although some may still hold a stigma against those who struggle with their mental health, they are more reluctant to speak out in public about it. At the end of the day, we do all have mental health; in the same way that we all have physical health and attitudes should not change according to which a person is poorly with.

I think I’m one of those people who believes in the age old saying ‘treat others how you’d like to be treat.’ It, and the thought of the responses that others are being met with, give me the motivation to continue supporting organisations like Time To Change who have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of mental health stigma.

A person should be supported (as they were in The Greatest Showman) to speak up without being ashamed of their bumps and bruises, scars, and differences.

The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

Allison Rushby, Shooting Stars
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