There Are So Many of You
Based on the DM’s received since I started sharing my battle with depression, I’ve learned two things.
First: the statistics about the number of people who are affected by our mental health epidemic is staggering. They are also grossly under-reported. In other words – and I say this with all due respect for those of you in the Battle with me – holy shit, you really are everywhere. This disease does not discriminate; young, old, rich, poor, well educated or high school drop out, married, single, kids, no kids, public figures or the delivery guy. EVV-ERRRY-WHERE. Intellectually I understood what the research had revealed about mental health in America, but hearing from so many of you saying “I’m in the Battle too” has been eye-opening to say the least.
Second: people are hungry for support. We all seem to sit in our own little hole in the ground thinking we’re the only one who’s totally screwed up when in reality there are likely people alllllllllll around you that are battling something at some level. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, the list goes on. Just because you aren’t a lunatic basket case in public doesn’t mean you aren’t anxious every second of the day consumed with worry. Just because you aren’t home crying on your bathroom floor with no desire to leave the house doesn’t mean you aren’t depressed. Just because you don’t talk about that “charmed life experience” with your friends doesn’t mean you don’t have nightmares and flashbacks with the simplest of triggers.
I can’t tell you how proud, and somewhat emotional it is for me, when someone stands up, waves the flag and shares their Battle story. The common thread is that you, my Warriors, don’t feel like you have an outlet, a place to share experiences, struggles, and victories. I’m not talking about some pitty-party, whoa-is-me, my-life-is-awful kind of outlet. I’m talking about the badass men and women who are super high-functioning but still need that little bit of support to feel less alone.
Brené Brown says it best in her New York Times best seller, Daring Greatly, “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Can we start that acceptance here? Can you stand up and tell your brothers and sisters that they aren’t alone? That you will go to Battle with them? That you care.
Can you power through the fear? Fear is not real. Fear can’t physically hurt you. Fear is an emotion, and our feelings are controlled 100% by what we are thinking.
What if you just said it? What if a dozen people stood up and gave you a big hug for being so brave? What if you could actually HELP THEM by sharing your experience? What if, as a total bonus, helping someone else HELPED YOU? Sign. Me. Up!
Drop a message here (or a private DM if you don’t feel comfortable), I promise you’ll get nothing but love and support.
Also, I can delete any damn thing I want on this blog so if somebody’s gonna be a hater well they can go find somewhere else to be an asshole, not here. Mmkay. Rant over. Carry on.
Truly, the first brave step is saying the words out loud. Be brave my Warriors, you’re so much stronger than you know.
I’M PROUD OF YOU!