Why Mental Health Advocacy Intimidates Me as Someone With Depression

This is a confession that people doing successful things would probably shake their finger at and tell me it’s not good for me to bring up.

But you know what? I’m going to anyway. I have to keep it real.

I’m so intimidated!

Seriously. I’m intimidated every day. I have big plans, big goals and big dreams, but I often find myself questioning all of it because I’m so intimidated.

My passion is mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. I want to do what I can to get word out there about these things — about my own battles, mental illness, my suicide attempt and continued struggles with ideation. I hope to help as many people as I can. I don’t want others to go through what I have.

But depression whispers to my aspirations every day — it tells me I’m worthless and will never do any of it right.

Depression tells me I should give up.

Through my work in the field, I’ve been a keynote speaker and given presentations. I’m told that I’ve helped others, but depression just whispers so loudly telling me I’m not helping at all.

I am in constantly star-struck by the people I meet and get connected with; even by my own friends who do and have done amazing things in the field. I just look and listen in wonder when we make a connection while my brain makes me question why they are even talking to me about this stuff. I just sit in excited shock asking, “Why?

Depression tells me I have nothing to give, but I try anyway.

My passionate heart tells me to go for it, but my sick brain tells me there’s no place for me to try to make a difference.

But I want to make a difference. I want to live life. I want to face another adventure!

If I don’t push past the daily whispers from my brain, I will never live my life. I know mortality. I know I can still be suicidal at times. So in the times I’m not extremely low and trying to find a way to end my pain, I want to live life to the fullest. I want to do amazing things. I want to meet amazing people.

I want to do amazing things with amazing people that want to change the world like I do.

So if I’m ever extremely over-the-top or completely awkward with you, I apologize. I’m inspired by you and ridiculously intimidated. Because my brain tells me I’m not up-to-par with your work.

But don’t give up on me — I’m pushing through intimidation to do amazing work.

I just want to push through, live life and help others — even if my depression tells me I’m not worth it.

I am.

But I’m still intimidated.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Lead image via contributor

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

topless man with dark hair in ocean, face hidden

I Am Sat at the Bottom of the Ocean: A Poem on the Daily Struggle of Depression

I am sat at the bottom of the ocean. It’s a dark part of the ocean, But just shallow enough for the faintest glint Of sunlight to break through the surface And reach me. The water is a dark blue-green; Almost black in some instances. But the odd part is that The water appears to [...]

When Depression Means You Can Only Look One Step Ahead

I wandered into a pretty familiar place today — one well-known to fellow mental health patients. I call it “The Place of One Step.” The Place of One Step is a state in which my everyday activities must be broken down into individual steps to complete. Normally I might say to myself, “OK, I’m going [...]
Women holding cake in one hand and balloons in other. She is happy and celebrate her birthday

The Birthday Wish I Made for My Depression

11 months ago, I turned 18. At my party, when my cake was brought out – glowing with candles and covered in chocolate icing – I was told to make a wish. I stared at the colorful wax that was dripping slowly down the candlesticks and thought for a minute. Then I closed my eyes [...]
sad lonely woman looking at reflection in mirror

When Depression Constantly Calls You a ‘Freak’

Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here. “I am a freak.” I hear that phrase pop into my mind at [...]