Thank you for your wonderful work. My name is John and I suffer from Depressive Episodes. They come, then they go. I am also the Senior and Founding Partner in a mediation firm, so at any given time there can be literally 100 people relying on or interacting with me. Because of that, I was forced to be very open about my condition. What I discovered was amazing.
My openness, which I thought was going to cost me business, family, friends, – instead, brought me closer to each. My transparency was not only the major part of my healing and is not only the major part of my management, but it is also one of the touchstones about how I relate to people.
The disease has humbled me, which made me more compassionate. The disease has had financial impact, which has made me appreciate resources. The disease has forced me to come out from behind the rock I portrayed, and as a result people know the real me, and then show me the real them, and my relationships on all fronts have been enriched and have become something I couldn’t have made them were I not suffering.
Removing the stigma has been a tremendous blessing. If you are suffering, I tell you this straightforward. The stigma is as bad or worse. But you, in a place where you feel powerless, have the greatest power. To ask for help. To share your story. To be part of your own recovery, and to be part of others’. Removing the stigma allows us to be strongest when we are weakest, to help when we need help, and to show the way when we feel lost.