Q: To those who are not aware of you, who are you? What do you do and what is your passion?
My name is Logan Meek, and I am a twenty year old mental health awareness advocate with a passion for helping others celebrate individualism and storytelling. I grew up in rural Kansas where I developed a passion for performance and a love of entertaining others. In February of 2017 I had been admitted into the Psychiatric ward at a local hospital due to Suicidal Ideation. I had known something was wrong for a while; I knew that this wasn’t just because I was young and going through a lot of life changes. In high school the year before I had everything. I was the captain of my football team, President of my choir, had been the lead in both of my school musicals throughout high school and had a full ride scholarship to the school of my dreams. I had everything going for me, and yet somehow I had flunked out in my first semester. While in the hospital, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and suddenly everything made sense. That day I made it my mission to tell my story in order to help shine a light on mental illness in youth in the hopes of saving someone else from the mistakes I made.
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
I got started on mental health advocacy the day I was diagnosed. In my research of Bipolar Disorder and Mental Health Issues in general, I had noticed that the testimonials and advice generally came from one of two types of people: Either adults who had had years and years to adjust, adapt, and understand their issues before finally accepting, or celebrities who had the support of thousands of adoring fans behind them. While both of those are great and helped, they weren’t really stories and people that I myself could identify with; Myself and most of the youth today just live in a different world than they do. I was inspired by the Musical “Dear Evan Hansen” to open up and speak out, and felt empowered by all of my friends and families support. My entire life people had been telling me that I was going to change the world and because of that support and the belief they had in me, I was able to look at my diagnosis as an obstacle and an opportunity to help others rather than to feel sorry for myself and give up.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
I took my message and turned it into a story. I grew up in the theatre and performing shaped me into the person I am today. Whether it was TV, Live Theatre, or Listening to the Radio, I have always been infatuated with telling a great story that is both entertaining and touches people in a way they won’t forget. I began blogging, and started to tell my stories and struggles as if they were short stories meant for entertainment with the message being one that stuck with readers because the story was entertaining.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I believe that the mindset that distinguishes me from others doing the same thing is the fact that I am telling the story as I live it. I live in the same world as those that I am trying to help; I’m the same age as them, I live in their world, and I experience their issues alongside them rather than trying to relate my past experiences to what they are currently struggling with. I think that seeing someone else who is like you; someone that you can truly connect with speaking out openly and unashamed about their issues can change your mindset entirely. It’s easy to say “I can’t do it.” when the person telling you you can do it has already succeeded. However, to watch someone who is actively fighting the same battle you are being able to be open and honest can help others feel safe. When I tell my story to other young people with these problems, they actively see my struggle. They see me overcome when I’ve failed, and they see that I am actively not giving up even though I haven’t won the battle yet.
3. What is your definition of success?
I believe success is when you find yourself completely content with where you are in life. There is always room for bigger and better; always room for growth. Learning to accept and be happy with yourself even when you haven’t achieved all of your goals and dreams, but knowing that you are actively working towards them as best as you can and are truly happy with that and who you are even though you aren’t quite yet as good as you would like to be. Success isn’t defined by the destination, but rather in enjoying the journey to that destination.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
I believe that the only reason some people face failure when chasing a vision is by losing belief that they can do something. Failure itself is inevitable; nobody can achieve everything on the first try every single time. Life knocks you down over and over again and kicks you in the teeth when you least expect it. As long as you get back up and keep trying, you never truly fail. It’s a lesson learned, and another obstacle you have overcome on your path to success. A person only fails when they lose the belief that they can succeed and stop getting back up and trying.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
There are two pieces of advice I have come across that I believe everyone should know and take.
“You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.” This piece of advice was given to me by my former employee and mentor Shay Hayes, and it’s one that took me a bit to follow. Taking care of yourself seems pretty selfish at first, but in reality, you can’t take care of anybody else if you’re not in a good place.
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” This is a quote from the movie musical Moulin Rouge! and I think it’s important because in a world that is so focused on the negative, it can be very hard to see the light. When we learn what it feels like to just love, we become that light for others. And in return, they become lights that we can focus on when the darkness of the world becomes suffocating.
Connect with Logan Meek on LinkedIn here https://www.linkedin.com/in/logan-meek-43bb48140/
You can read Logan’s writings here https://thebipolarstorytellerblog.wordpress.com/