The push to be open about our mental illness has become a rather prominent topic on blogs these days. I read a post the other day where a fellow sufferer said she told every one she met she had mental illness, usually within the first few minutes of meeting them. I’m all for pride, truly I am, but mental illness is not some parlor trick you pull out at a party. I don’t hide my mental illness and I am damn sure not ashamed of it, but I don’t go screaming it from rooftops either. I will not go around telling every person who will listen that I am emotionally unstable. I don’t go up to people at parties and reveal that I need to check my bed three times on each side before I sleep or else I will die. When I choose to tell people I am mentally ill it is because I am comfortable with them, it is because I want them to see I am just like they are. I don’t wish to be defined by my mental illness and I am not ashamed of it either. There is a balance to be achieved here. When people find out I am mentally ill I want them to see me for the strong and capable person I am. My scars are not conversation starters, they are silent reminders of my survival. My depression shouldn’t gain me pity, it should show how strong I am for getting up each morning and facing another day.