A few weeks ago we put out a casting call for models. Role models.
We asked you to share your smiles and your mental health stories, and we received so many applications. In fact, they're still piling in daily. So we've planned photoshoots at different cities across the country to be able to share your stories. Here's the first:
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My name is Bronwyn Plourde and I am from Fredericton, New Brunswick. On Monday March 9th I turned 20 years old. 7 Years ago had you asked me if I would make it here I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. When I was 13 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. To some it would be world shattering. To me, it was exactly what I needed.. I just didn’t see it at the time. After years of not understanding what was wrong, it explained a lot. The ups and downs. Why I felt everything so intensely and why I didn’t feel normal. Back then I didn’t see it this way. But like anything, with time you grow and learn.
High school was very hard for me. I didn’t handle my emotions the best, but I was still learning how to cope. I turned to self injury when things got hard. I felt like I needed to cut to feel release and to make everything okay. It took years for me to realize that wasn’t the answer. But I’m so proud to say I did. In October it will be 4 years since I have self injured, give or take a few bumps in the road along the way.
I had a lot of support throughout my struggles. My mother was and still is my hero for her strength. I also was very lucky in the counselling I received. Both therapists I saw and continue to see were amazing. They went above and beyond and changed my life completely. Realizing it was okay to ask for help was one of the best things I ever did. Without the support I had, I’m not sure where I would be, which is why I’m so grateful for that.
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When I heard of Wear Your Label I was thrilled. To see people stand up and work so hard to break the stigma and show others that it is okay.. It is so reassuring. I am lucky to have come so far. There was a time where I didn’t think I would live to see this day, and I didn’t even want to. I’m so glad I did. I wanted to share my story in hopes it will help someone else. Just to be able to show people that it does get better, and that the darkness will turn into light. I’ve always wanted to be able to speak up and make a difference. I just never knew how until now.
PS. Bronwyn was also recently featured here by Humans of Fredericton (credits for this lovely photo above).
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