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Why Mental Health Advocacy Intimidates Me as Someone With Depression

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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.

Lead image via contributor

Originally published: May 9, 2018
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