When you share your story with a stranger, a support group, or your friends, keep in mind the reason why you are doing so. This can help guide you in choosing what to say and how to say it. If you share your story with someone with the symptoms of mental health conditions like yourself, your purpose may be to offer encouragement or share vital information that has benefited you. When you share with your friends, your purpose may be to educate them and destigmatize mental health disorders.
Sometimes, the move to share your experience may not be initially initiated by you. It may come from an organization or group. Before you speak or give permission, consider how people will use your story and if it aligns with your values.
Sharing your story with your loved ones, support group, or colleagues at work will cost you a degree of privacy. You need to consider how you feel about that loss. You can choose a small group to start with to see how story-sharing feels. Thankfully, you can minimize the degree of privacy you lose with the use of anonymity.
There are many channels through which you can share personal stories. You may choose public speaking, publishing books or web articles, or videos. You can even leverage social media apps to get your message across. If you find your story helped others on a specific channel, you may choose to do more with it to have it further heard.
Make sure to choose a channel that presents no harm to your mental well-being. Try writing instead if you feel your emotions may get in the way during conversations. Also, speaking in front of a large crowd may not be ideal for a person with social anxiety.