Monday, April 19, 2010
Out of the closet
I had the only phone call in 2+ years in my job today that made me cry - and it wasn't a helpline call! Just a nasty bitch who couldn't figure out what printed materials she wanted for our event.
So of course embarrassment + anxiety = I did not want to go present about our event at a meeting tonight. But as I tell other friends with anxiety...fight it. Don't give in to it. GO! Marvin K. Mooney! (OK, if you're not a Dr. Seuss fan, you might not get that reference.)
So I went.
*Spoiler alert*: this now becomes a warm and fuzzy post.
And a friend of mine, who was running the meeting and volunteers for our organization, asked me to share some of my own personal story.
Now, I'm not "in the closet" about having depression and anxiety, but I've never stood up in front of a group of people and gone into detail about it. For one thing, I like to focus on the cause, and it's not about me.
But I remembered what I heard a civil rights attorney say a few months ago at a mental health event: "If we are going to make progress and end stigma in our movement, we must copy another movement, and come out."
So I did.
Nothing formal, nothing scripted, but it seemed to go over OK. I got some nice comments afterwards, but the best one came from a volunteer who said, "I am so proud that one of my peers is putting on this big event!"
Sharing past struggles gave her hope.
I'll get off my soap box now, but that canceled out the bitch on the phone this morning.
But the best part was when my friend's husband said, "Hey, that was great! You didn't say 'fuck' once!"