When I decided to share my story and a very low and very personal point in my life, I admit I was scared, 'had I been to candid?' 'was this a bad move?' 'will people think less of me?' 'will people think I'm weak?' 'will people not hire me?' ...and for THAT exact reason I realized how important it was for me TO share, TO be vulnerable, TO be exposed for my humanity...because
...hiding my truth, doesn't help anyone and if I can help just ONE person feel a little bit less alone and not ashamed for their sadness or not 'perfect' mentality... then it is all worth it to me... ...And then I received this unexpected and TREMENDOUS response which made me realize this is the EXACT reason, we as a society and community MUST continue to and start opening up even more about the importance of mental health and once and for all ban this negative stigma surrounding it.
I've been touched by so many people coming forth now from my story and saying it gives them strength, it inspires them and they too have faced or are facing the same struggles.
And when I was at my lowest and darkest...I think just having one person tell me "you are not alone" was what I really needed.
So, this is me, in all my truth, saying proudly, that 'yes, this is my story, this is my truth and you are not alone and you are not any less than anyone else' for what is joy if we have not felt pain?
I encourage us all to share our truths, our stories, our pain ...because depression and anxiety thrive and breed in the darkness of secrecy, isolating ourselves and hiding from our loved ones because we feel ashamed, but the one thing I've learned... the only way to kill the darkness (and stigma) is with the light and vulnerability and bravery.
So, let us all live in our light. Together.