As the end of the month approaches, it is time for a new edition of my monthly interview series. As you may (or may not) know, I was published on The Mighty in late December. I wrote about this surreal experience earlier this month (I'm really proud of this accomplishment so I’m going to keep talking about it). To add to this recurring theme, I decided to interview a fellow contributor from The Mighty.
While reading stories on the website, I came across a story about the dating while struggling with a mental illness. Her story was extremely relatable, so I decided to click onto her author’s page to see if she had written any other articles. And she had.
Like me, Britton discovered The Mighty while reading articles and posts about mental health on Facebook. Through reading other people’s stories, she was encouraged to share her own. I asked Alexis Britton the following questions about writing for The Mighty.
Q1) How do you find inspiration for your posts?
My inspiration for my posts is my mental health journey, which I am still on. Specifically what inspires me is that no matter how low I get, it will get better (cliché I know but its true). I constantly go through ups and downs, still, but I always go back up. When I write I don’t plan when I’m going too. Like I wouldn’t be like, “Right, next Saturday I’m going to write.” I never know what frame of mind I’m going to be in. My mind can be a foggy place and I can only write when it is clear, after I have finished dealing with something emotionally, I can now actually find words to describe it and write it down.
Q2) What is the hardest thing about writing about your mental health?
The hardest thing about writing about my mental health is the fear that, although I might be in a good place while writing the article, I know in my head I could go back down and that saddens me a little bit but it is all part of the journey.
Q3) Why do you write?
As stated previously, I only write when my mind is clear (and that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m in a good place mentally). I could be in quite a bad place but the fog has gone. I feel like I need to write it all down to clear my head and, maybe, even sort of like a coping mechanism. I write because I want my journey out there in the world. I am proud of my journey and I am proud of myself. The fact that other people are reading it and maybe helping them in some way makes me feel so relieved.
The one person I would not like to read my article is my mum. She doesn’t know the full extent of my mental health journey, so for her to read that I would be a little bit anxious about her reaction.
Q5) What advice do you have for people who are looking to share their work?
Don’t put pressure on yourself to share your experiences and story. Write when it feels natural to you, when you are in the correct mindset and when you feel like you can write to your best potential and get everything across you are wanting to say. It may be months in between when you feel you’re ready to write but that’s okay. Just don’t force it.
Make sure that you check out her stories on The Mighty: What I Learned About Mental Health Recovery When My Girlfriend Encouraged Me to Seek Help and What I Learned About Being in Love While Struggling With a Mental Illness. They are both inspiring stories that you should definitely read.