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!"

21 comments:

Darth Weasel said...

I appreciate your courage in so doing it. Made perhaps more difficult by the oft-cited fact that more people are afraid of public speaking than death...perhaps because, with public speaking, when you err, you are there to hear about it.

But when you are able to speak from the heart about something you care about and are passionate about...it can change worlds.

Senorita said...

Thank you for sharing. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. Medication isn't really an option, I've had to deal with my problems head on and get counseling.

Dance has also helped me cope.

Riot Kitty said...

Darth: Thanks!
S: I do take meds but also did counseling. I imagine dance would help - exercising until I'm tired out helps me a lot.

Lynn said...

That is wonderful that you did that. Surely that did help others, too.

Fireblossom said...

I would have got up there and spewed about the board member. You know the one. LOL.

JLee said...

I'm so glad you were able to push through it. Like that post I once did about the "bully" you can't let it win! I definitely recommend some energy work..Reiki, etc., to help with your anxiety. It changed my life (wow, I sound like a commercial right now. lol)

mac said...

You are a brave kitty :-)
It takes a lot of courage to "spill" ourselves like that. Good on ya!

Riot Kitty said...

L: That is very sweet of you!
FB: LMAO!
JL: Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out!
Mac: Thanks :)

LL Cool Joe said...

Good for you mate!! That takes balls! Pardon the expression.

Ily said...

I love how you put yourself out there and inspire others, Chica! You rock!!

PS - I need to hear more positive things to cancel out the bitches in my life.

Riot Kitty said...

J and I: Thanks!

Sadako said...

Good for you! Glad you overcame a fear.

Heff said...

I'm experiencing a "movement" of my own right now...

Ivy and Haley said...

Good for you! It feels better living the truth, doesn't it?

Ivy

Riot Kitty said...

S and I&H: Thanks!
H: Very funny ;)

LiLu said...

Hahahahaha! That last line killed me ;-)

Granny Annie said...

Given her phone number I would be happy to call her and say "F&*k you bitch".

Oh well you made yourself proud and all of us who know you.

Riot Kitty said...

L: I laughed pretty hard...
GA: Thank you! On both! ;)

Aliceson said...

Good for you! Being honest and open are 2 of the most noble traits a person can possess. You rock RK and I love the comment about not saying fuck. Sounds like this guy is a pro at breaking the ice. What a great treasure supportive friends are!

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks Aliceson!

Green tea said...

You affect a lot of Lives M,
Courage can be healing... :)