Who would have thought that going to see Wonder Woman would trigger so many emotions and renew my passion and purpose for being a mental health advocate? Let’s face it, Wonder Woman isn’t real, she is a comic book character created by DC Comics in 1941. Her power and her strength were due to being the daughter of a God—Zeus—but took human form to help save mankind from evil.
I have been a fan of Wonder Woman, since the days of Linda Carter and always secretly wanted to possess the qualities that she had: brave, strong, caring, loving, passionate, compassionate and a will to help others, even if she had to do it alone. I realized today sitting in the theater watching Wonder Woman that I possess every quality that she has as a mental health advocate. In my own right as a mental health advocate: I am Wonder Woman.
Being an advocate for mental health can at times be draining with the path, hard to walk and discouraging. On that path, you have ignorance, lack of understanding, lack of compassion and empathy, but most of all, you have to fight the negative stigma that is associated with mental health. Just about every day, you feel you have to fight for people to see us as they see anyone else dealing with a physical condition. You have to educate those who don’t understand, and you have to break down the walls of the stigma that keeps people suffering in silence. A job fit for a super hero, correct?
But as Wonder Woman said, “We have to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves.” It reminded me why I am an advocate and why I do what I do 24/7, 365 days a year without getting paid. My payment is knowing I am helping someone who is like me. Someone that needs help and doesn’t know where to turn or someone who is in crisis who needs to know, “You are not alone in your battle.” All of us as advocates are Wonder Women. We stand up and fight for those who are suffering in silence. For without us, they have no one.
So what do Wonder Woman and being a mental health advocate have in common, you say? Wonder Woman fought for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves and as a mental health advocate, we are obligated to do the same. Mental health matters!