I am deeply saddened to announce that, with immediate effect, I will be stopping all blogging, tweeting, and future activities under the name #BlackDogRunner
This decision is an extremely painful and difficult one for me. I have become enormously fond of the many and varied friends I have made, and I have taken great meaning from my efforts to reduce stigma and raise awareness of life with mental health problems.
Last night, however, I was subject to a coordinated attack by several high-profile members of the mental health online community that have left me utterly bereft. Given the nature of the allegations, and state of my own health, I feel there is absolutely no choice other than for me to withdraw.
Although I cannot see the full extent of what has been said, the core of the accusation is that I have been ‘grooming’ vulnerable women and ’emotionally abusing’ them. These are not words that I think should ever be used lightly, but that they were aired with such conviction is all the more hurtful.
I am aware that I could use this space to provide a defence against every claim and counter-claim. However, despite my own feelings of hurt and anger, I don’t think it would be fair, or necessarily helpful, to do so – least of all in public. No-one, especially not anyone struggling with severe mental health problems, deserves the kind of mob-bullying that I have faced. I am, however, deeply deeply sorry to anyone and everyone to whom I have caused any hurt whatsoever.
There will be many who consider this to be an admission of guilt. But the fact that anyone – never mind people who I genuinely considered to be my friends – are willing to interpret honest mistakes, fragments of conversations, & genuinely well-meaning actions, in such a damning light is already more upsetting than anything else that could be laid against me.
When I first joined the twitter mental-health community, I remember feeling completely unequipped for what I had walked into. That fear has been proven beyond my very worst nightmare.
Goodbye, take care, and stay safe,