I was on a business trip not long ago. We had a 3.5 day annual company conference filled with key-note speakers, company information and team building.
One of the team building was quite emotional. We broke out into small groups of 8-10 people and had to discuss our highest and lowest moments of our lives.
Ouch. Not easy. It’s sometimes difficult to even come clean with friends and family. But to be vulnerable in front of co-workers is a different level all together.
Yet, I decided to go first… I told my group, with a quick apology of not-so-pleasant news I was about to disperse, of my suicidal state a few years ago.
There’s one thing I have learned, dealing with anxiety disorder and depression – it’s a battle to break through the stigma on a daily basis. And it’s so easy not to realize the person next to you is suffering mental illness. I just read 2 of the 3 main symptoms of depression can not be seen so most people are walking around with no support, no treatment and at the risk of falling deeper into the hole.
It is NOT easy to talk about myself out in the open.
So what pushed me?
Knowing if I can open up and just not care of what will be said behind my back (should that happen it would be out of my control), will help one person who is suffering alone hear what I have to say, which may lead to that person getting help, well, it’s worth it.
I not only talked about what I went through – but about how I got help. And while it did not get rid of my anxiety and depression, as there are triggers everywhere which will not cease in my lifetime, I at least know how to get help now. I was able to talk about something extremely important:
It’s not as easy as I’m painting it. But should my words give even a glimmer of hope to the one suffering beside me, isn’t the vulnerability worth it?