I wondered by the Bookshelf in Guelph, ON earlier this month to scope out whether or not the May/June magazine publication of THIS was out. I had been making such trips, for weeks on end, in anticipation of the article featuring wiTHIN. Finally the day had arrived! I quickly picked up the magazine and flipped through its pages hoping to stumble across the article instantaneously, as if fate would direct me to its page. No such luck, so I immediately went to the index. I hurried to page 39, and there it was.
It seems surreal to read about wiTHIN in an actual magazine, but what I am more curious is whether or not people will be drawn to it? I don’t mean this in a self-conscious way, but will people glance at it, see that it’s about mental health, and turn away in fright, uneasiness, disinterest or judgment. I’m okay with the judgment part. I’m continuing to learn how to accept that people will always judge, and that doest necessarily have anything to do with me! Not everyone will like this story or the message in it, but why the uneasiness or fear? I know the answer to this question. I had the exact same response or stereotype when it came to mental-illness (which is evident in Part 1 of wiTHIN). I held stereotypes about those who would self-harm or who heard voices in their head… until I got to know people with such issues on a personal level or evolved to one day struggle with the same issues.
It is my hope that through reading wiTHIN, some of those stereotypes will be challenged and broken. That they will see a person amongst the behaviours and obsessions. I hope that people allow themselves to relate as opposed to feeling they must distance themselves from the main character. That they will take a chance and realize mental health is something to be afraid of only if it remains silenced. Look under the bed and you won’t find a monster. It is only the fear of the unknown that drives people away from one another in fear and hate. That is one of the reasons why I wrote wiTHIN. And I hope it is one of the reasons why you choose to read it. Be sure to check out your local shops for the May/June publication of THIS magazine!