Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ringing in to BELL

I received two emails from the fundraising organizer website I’ve been using for Clara’s Big Ride on Friday. Both of them held exciting and moving information that had me bursting at the seams. I was driving home at the time when I first read them. I’ve read them at least fifty times since…

 The first was to inform me that a company called Elevator Foundations has made a commitment to match any donation made to Clara’s Big Ride by April 11th, up to $10,000 & they are interested in my “giving group” (my organization: i.e. funds for the Swift Current Canadian Mental Health Association Branch). This is seriously awesome. For those who are unfamiliar what this means, it simply means that whatever dollar you donate, it is essentially being doubled. So if you donate $20, Elevator Foundations is also donating $20 making it $40. How cool, right? $50 = $100, $75=$150 and so on. The hardest part for me though is convincing people that this is something they need to be interested in – concerned with, and persuading them and how much it’s worthwhile to donate to this great cause. This leads me to the second email I received.

It was from Bell. They are interested in my fundraising group. Not just because they are the main leaders of Clara's Big Ride but for a completely totally different reason altogether. They were wondering if they could have my permission to screenshot my page, add a few lines about my group, and were also wanting to learn about my story so they could add all of it to their newsletter and send it out across the country. They want to interview and write things about me and publish all about me. This is both satisfying and discomforting all at the same time as if the symptoms for both those reactions were put in blender and set on crushing mode for an entire half hour.

My first reaction was: COOL! They are interested in ME, they want MY story, they want to promote MY group, for MY community, for MY people. This is totally rad! Unbelievably sweeeeeet!
But as I continued to pass car after car on highway #1, I got thinking; they want to know *my* story… they want to know about *me* and why *I’m* doing this fundraising group. Isn’t that a bit personal? Isn’t this going to be weird and awkward and uncomfortable and shameful and embarrassing and dumb? I barely know my own story, my own self, my own motivations, let alone screaming it in a megaphone to the nation. I don’t want to do that! It’s private! I don’t like it! Booooo, Bell, why you do this!?
But… these were just excuses.

It’s not about ME. It’s NOT just MY story. It’s NOT just for MY group, NOR my community. It’s for my family. For my friends. And no matter how cheesy it sounds, sharing my story, my struggle, is simply for you. Everyone. For us. Because maybe me sharing mine will help others share theirs.
My story isn’t much of a “story”, but I do have one. I do have things I want to say, voice my own struggles, and break my own stigma I have with mental illness. Because it’s real, it exists, and nobody wants to talk about it. Until now.

I’m going to do it. I emailed Bell this morning. It’s happening. Today. Right. Freaking. Now. No more excuses, no more stigma.

Will you help break it with me?

Stay tuned. Because I’m currently filling a blank piece of paper in front of my computer starting with “This is my story”… because it’s about time these words can be buried and be rested in peace for good.

Check out my fundraising group if you haven’t already:
CLICK ME. I'm underlined & lookin' fine :)


Joyce Peterson said...

Great post, Haley! I can't help but think that even as you have been encouraged by watching Clara's journey and desire to stand up and make a difference, you, too, will give someone else hope and courage by being willing to 'stand up' and share your own story. You go, girl!!!

Harm said...

Wow this is such an amazing thing!!!!

AAllen said...

Im so proud of you!

mom said...

Yes Haley way to go! I'm so proud of you and I know you can do anything you put your mind too! Good luck writing and remember to be just you!

Liz said...

Courage is a beautiful go girl!!!
Love your writing style you are so gifted don't quit!!!

Auntie Bonnie said...

Yippe yi yae cow pattie. Good on you and love this post.