A feature about this blog and the reasons behind it.
There’s an epidemic with mental illness at the moment, where there are significant movements to try and bring more awareness and understanding towards the topic. I started my blog, Faceless Reflection, with the aim of bringing positivity towards such a grossly misunderstood topic. I want to combat the negativity associated with mental illness, and lean away from a negative and, perhaps, narcissistic style of writing.
Faceless Reflection is an archive of journalistically written stories. Here to provide real, honest and genuine information across the entire spectrum of mental illness, the blog allows my interviewees, or ‘faceless friends’, a chance to reflect positively on the hardships of their times; with an aim to encourage constructive discussion through solidarity. It’s important that we combat the labels we are assigned by others and ourselves, and that we understand how close the correlations are between each disorder. This will allow us to develop more compassion and empathy towards all.
I initially started my blog to tackle my own negativity towards others- forcing me in to a position of trust with my interviewee. I didn’t realise when I started this blog how much my view of other people would change, and the pride I’d feel towards those who allowed me to tell their stories. Their bravery and total trust in me has had a hugely positive impact on my life.
I hope that my writing has allowed people to discover where they are on their journey now, and realise how far they’ve come. It’s almost like their own mood diary, squished in to one article that highlights the darkest parts of their lives coming to an end; that they’re accelerating towards a better future, closing chapters with acknowledgment of their bravery. I am touched to have been allowed to be in such a privileged position, and whilst the project has been very much for myself, I will be so glad if others can find peace and comfort from the inspiring words of my heroic interviewees.
An interview with the interviewer:
Who do you write about?
I write about friends, acquaintances, and strangers. I’m careful with who I choose because they have to be people who are well enough to be able to look back on their lives, and understand how those things have made them so much stronger. That’s why they’re such remarkable people. To be able to do this, they have really worked HARD on combatting these issues. It’s inspiring that those who’ve suffered the most, have now blossomed in every part of their lives: professionally, emotionally, creatively… I want to share their inspiring stories, to allow other people who are in pain the ability to temporarily live vicariously through my interviewees’ strength. Mental illness makes you lose all hope- these stories will allow you to see that you will get out of it, and more importantly: you are not alone.
What’s it like interviewing people on such personal topics?
It depends. Some people are touched and excited to tell their stories, whilst others are understandably scared. If they’re a close friend of mine I’m usually more nervous because I’ve known them as they’ve travelled through the darkest parts of their lives- so I just want to do right by them by giving an accurate account. My blog’s there to uplift – the last thing I want to do is upset anyone. People’s stories are so personal, so I have to respect the boundaries of the individual.
How have people reacted to your work?
It’s been awesome. The encouragement I get, and the acknowledgement of bravery my interviewees get is exactly why I started this blog. There’s a sense of unity with our generation, and it makes me so proud.