As I’ve been sharing openly about mental health and some of my own struggles publicly over the last couple of years, I wanted to make sure I shared the context and purpose for doing so.
When I share my mental health struggles as I have here, it isn’t for public therapy … that’s when I go to my counselor and support network … privately … with trusted people, in a safe and confidential environment.
That’s not to say I haven’t on occasion fallen for doing so on Facebook or Twitter. I have. And almost always regretted it.
Mainly because that’s not therapy, that’s generating sympathy. And typically a very superficial one at that, because whatever benefits I think I might get from it don’t last.
It’s coating the surface temporarily with a warm glaze while not working on the real problems inside, which I believe should not be done in a public manner.
It’s a big and important difference to make in the conversation about mental health.
And I don’t want to give any illusion that that’s what I’m doing or expecting others to do too by sharing so openly publicly.
In fact, most of the things I share publicly happened 6+ years ago. I’ve talked through them, sought help for them, healed from them, in the past, privately.
Again, my experiences in growth and healing tell me that that happens with a licensed professional counselor, maintaining a private journal where I get to vomit out my emotions, feelings and frustrations in order to release them and understand them better, and sharing my struggles with a private, trusted, safe, confidential support network who have my best at heart, my key people are listed here.
However, when I do share publicly, my purpose and goals are simple:
To use my life and past struggles to say:
You’re not alone. Everybody hurts.
So that … others are empowered to seek and get help and encouragement they need.
And, finally, to erase and eradicate the stigma of mental health on this planet.
And you know what, I haven’t shared ALL of my struggles, I’ve shared SOME of my struggles. Yes, there’s always more to my Iceberg! But I share the ones I think would make the biggest impact and difference for others (depression and divorce being the most resonating ones so far).
It’s become increasingly clear that as I do share more, I share them through these filters and purposes. Otherwise, I’m just trying to garner that instant, mostly synthetic, ‘feel better now’ feeling.
BUT … when others talk openly for those reasons … it makes me SO proud and inspired. It shows change is happening!
Last night, I got to listen to the WP Elevation Facebook Live episode where host Troy Dean was talking with my friends Carrie Dills and Matt Medeiros about this vital subject of mental health. It was a fantastic episode that I highly recommend.
Listening to the show last night, prompted me to write this … it was an amazing example of what I’m seeking to achieve here and I’m so thrilled others are doing so too.
And if you’re struggling and hurting … make a call. Reach out to your support network. And seek and receive the help and encouragement you need today. Please.