Aren't you afraid of what people might think of you? Every now and then I get asked that question since I published Living with the Dragon, launched my online courses on mental health management and publicly opened up about my struggles in the past with depression, anxiety and anger. The initial fear of going public has long since passed. I overcame that fear of judgement because I also knew that very same fear is preventing me from making a significant difference to the mental health community, and it is the very same fear that kept my shame alive after all the years. And as everyone knows, when there's shame, we get stuck at a place of resentment, bitterness and external blaming.
As my collection of friends begin to show their age (with knee problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol challenges, balding), I sometimes think about some of my own aches and pains including my lower back and knees after playing intense games of basketball. And when I think about recent celebrities passing away at the young age of 75-80 years old, I begin doing the math of the remaining time I might have on this planet. So at the turn of the New Year, I reached several conclusions. Not resolutions. Conclusions.
Depression isn't something that can be summed up easily in one sentence. Just ask anyone who's experienced depression, it's so much more than not having energy to do things. Depression comes and goes and even behind my biggest smiles, I still sometimes feel depressed. Mental Illness Awareness Week is from October 1-7, 2018. Support your community's mental health organizations by raising awareness. Feel free to share about a mental health group in your community below in the comments!