"Do you feel pressured?"

Something I was recently asked was do I feel pressured when talking about mental health. The truth is that I don't, and if I did it would be pressure I'd put on myself.

In one of my previous posts I mentioned I have a rule for myself that I'll never turn down any opportunities relating to mental health. That's a rule I set for myself at the age of 17, when I promised that I'd start telling my story when I turned 18. It's a promise I've made and stood by since turning 18.

At this stage it's becoming habit rather than a continuous conscious effort, and I'll launch into conversation with people without thinking. Some people engage in the conversation, some people laugh at how easily I can talk for hours about something so personal, and some people assume I have an ulterior motive. Regardless of what people think, I continue telling my story, because I know from feedback that I'm reaching people, that I'm having a positive impact.

I don't do it for the people who tell me I'm incredible. I do it for the people who tell me "because you're so open, I went to a meeting with my MP to discuss my mental health story" or "because of you, I went to my GP and was referred for CBT. It's really helping, thanks". This is genuine feedback I've had, and every time I read messages like these I cry, because I'm amazed that I'm making any kind of a difference.

So no, I don't feel pressured. I feel passionate.