As I've said many times, I live by a principal that the most important thing to be is altruistic. Yesterday's post was not. And I regret that in many respects.
Anger is sometimes necessary. Feminists, civil rights activists, politicians et al. are often driven by justifiable anger. There's a lot of inequality in the world: rich and poor, men and women, races, sexualities etc. But I think it's always important to be altruistic, loving, empathetic. Prejudice is the child of ignorance; it's a wayward child that can be set on the right path. But whilst one can be driven by anger, I have never believed in being militant. I don't believe that will no change ignorance and prejudice. I believe that love will.
In many ways, I'm privileged. And this illness has added to that privilege. I now have great empathy for those who suffer with mental illness. Before I was diagnosed, I too had very ignorant opinions about this illness.
I'm intellectually privileged. I've had a good education and I go to one of the world's best universities. It would be socially and morally irresponsible of me to not use the knowledge I have acquired in a loving way. It would be even more irresponsible of me if I did not try to share it. I don't think that prejudice or hateful people are adversaries, I believe that they are unconverted friends. And that's the way I want to operate.
I am sorry for the reactionary nature of my comments yesterday.
I'm not an authority on mental illness, and though I feel I have a good understanding of it I am in no way qualified to make assertions and judgements with any certainty. I am instead simply a person who suffers with an illness, writing about their experiences. I'm doing this because I feel I have too – a lot of what I write about I genuinely believe to be important. But I am guilty sometimes of not appreciating my own insignificance. I know that I am just one person, one voice, and that there are many out there who have had far worse experiences than me.
I'm sorry if I ever sound like I don't know these things. What I have created here and with 'Openly Depressed' are intended simply as a tools that I hope can be used to stimulate actions and discussions to improve understanding of mental illnesses. But I don't want to preach, and I'm sorry if I ever appear to. The idea is that this blog is an accessible and all-embracing space. I don't believe in hierarchies: I'm no better than anyone else on this planet, and I don't deserve the vast majority of the situation I am in.
If you don't understand mental illnesses, I don't want to talk at you or down to you. That's not something I believe anyone has a right to do.