Monday for The Root, I wrote a piece about my personal struggle with mental illness for Mental Health Awareness Month. For my piece, I focused on learning to accept my diagnosis after I was “outed” as mentally ill by an internet troll. Who strangely wanted to take credit for me being hospitalized. So weird.
A local blogger outed me after I wrote a MySpace post about being sad. He had previously, and persistently, contacted me about reviewing his self-published book, but I had no interest in reviewing it. He, weirdly, seemed to want to take credit for driving me to “madness.” It was true that at the time I wrote the post, I had wanted to die, but it wasn’t over a future 1-cent-royalty book on Amazon Kindle.
But his writing about something personal in the most tacky and exploitative way didn’t help the war I was waging inside. After all, I wasn’t ready to tell everyone about my diagnosis. I hadn’t even told some members of my family, yet now, for anyone who searched me on Google—for years—his tawdry post would be the first thing to pop up. When I had job interviews, people would ask me about it. When I went on dates, the guy would bring it up. It followed me like a lingering stench, when I was trying so hard to “fake” normalcy and failing.
I fell into a deep, dark hole, believing that I was worthless if everyone knew the truth. I wasn’t at peace with my diagnosis back then, which sounded serious and scary to me. So knowing that my secrets were always one Google search away haunted me.
You can also read more in detail about the incident involving me and that internet troll here.