Welcome to 1800Wheelchair.com Spring '17 Scholarship
Topic: Please submit a 'visual poem', in a style of your choosing, on the theme of overcoming a personal challenge.
Statement from 1800wheelchair
1800wheelchair is very proud to announce the winner of our Spring '17 scholarship contest. With well over 100 entries, this one stood apart for its interesting visuals and compelling story.
Winning Submission: Personal Statement
Over the past decade, the discussion of mental illness has grown drastically. The conversation has stepped into a time where speaking out is encouraged as well as valued. For myself, I struggled severely with my mental health during high school. I was scared, embarrassed, and confused. I felt as if speaking out would only worsen my situation. In this vibrant age of technology, I was seeing a great deal of negative comments about suicide, self-harm, depression. These discouraging comments reinforced my belief that if I asked for help, I would be labeled as attention seeking. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2014, after sitting in silence for two years. I cannot begin to describe the intense and devastating feelings that go along with suffering from mental illness.
After being diagnosed, I posted on social media about my mental illness. I decided to take my story and attempt to spark a conversation on mental illness. My goal was to bring hope to individuals who need it. I believe that courage is having the ability to face a task that frightens you and attempting it anyways. I was terrified of telling my friends and family, through a social media account, that I had spent the last two years dreading waking up every day. Since that first post in 2015, I have posted every year on #BellLetsTalk Day and I have made a short video with my close friend who lost her brother to suicide.
This poem is a representation of my recovery from depression. The left side of the poem were my depressive thoughts. The right side has my thoughts as a survivor. I made this poem so that it would be completely reversible. My hope is that this poem serves as a reminder that saying something can be life-saving. I got the supports I needed to get better because I talked about my hardships. I encourage others to do the same. By no means am I saying that talking about your mental health is easy, but I can say from experience that it is worth it.
I am dedicating this poem to a family-friend that suffered from mental illness and unfortunately passed away from suicide.