Suiting Up and Showing Up
When my sister Bridget and I committed to Giving Voice to Depression, we agreed to set aside the fears (and ego and privacy) of “exposing ourselves” as People With Depression. How could we possibly attempt to fight stigma and hide our own truths at the same time? Partial truth that is. Depression is only one piece of the multi-faceted people it affects. So, we have plastered our faces and names and stories across the internet. We have made public appearances and had many private conversations, all with the goal of educating people that depression is not a choice. But that stigma and ignorance both are.
We are dedicated to fighting the stigma and isolation of mental illness one shared story at a time.
Today we took the message to the radio airwaves again. Please listen to this interview/profile and share it and the link to our podcasts so that more people will hear and learn from the stories our guests share. We are NOT ALONE:
Please click on this link to hear the 11/22/17 radio interview: https://radiomilwaukee.org/story/local-podcast-sharing-firsthand-stories-depression/
The Strength is All Yours
Today we are posting the second part of our podcast episode “The Power of Compassion.”After hearing part one, a listener wrote and said the story Jonny and Neil shared touched her, because she had been “that guy on the bridge.” I asked if she was willing to share her story. This is part of what she wrote, which I post with her permission (with location details deleted):
“I’m happy to share to you. I walked out of my home. I was just in auto pilot. I saw people talking but I couldn’t hear them. By this I knew what I had to do, to end the pain I feel every day a pain inside me. I went to the bridge. I went & sat on the ledge just looking down at the water so many people it like I was invisible. I started saying sorry for all the pain & upset I had caused my loved ones. Suddenly I can hear a man talking I looked and he was near me , he started talking & saying my loved ones & my kids would be so destroyed. He said one day he felt the pain I had. He put his hand out and looking straight at him I took his hand. I hugged him I couldn’t speak just crying so much. I have no details of this man, but I will always remember his name Anthony. He saved my life.”
She then sent a second note:
“I’ve never told anyone this not even family It felt like it was right to share. Thank you for giving me the strength to share my story with you. I believe in my heart my story was meant to shared with you.”
There is power in sharing our story. This listener learned from our podcast that she is not alone. You may be learning that from her story today. Be an Anthony or a Neil – listen if someone needs to talk. The human need to be heard is a deep one. We thank this listener from the bottom of our hearts for sharing with us today. What an honor to be trusted. And thank you all for being part of this safe space where we can share her words. Be well.
Be Not Afraid
We know some of you may be reluctant to listen to our podcast, Giving Voice to Depression, thinking it might be… well… depressing. But we try to make and think of them as stories of resilience and empowerment. Sure, people share their struggles, but they also share their self-care and management techniques, and their philosophy on Life With Depression. Guests are all well enough (and caring enough) to share their story in an effort to normalize the discussion and reduce any shame or stigma around it. Many are inspiring. Some have moments of laughter. All offer some hope.
This morning, one FB community member sent us this note:
“I am just now, for the first time listening to your podcasts and they are amazing! It’s taken me this long to listen, for some reason, was afraid to hear because that would mean I have to keep dealing with this. I am now working my way through all of them. Thank you!!!!”
So… come on in, the water’s fine. And after you listen, feel free to share with others you think would benefit from the message. Each episode explores a different experience of depression; from the elderly to teens, suicide-attempt survivors to suicide-loss survivors, those who have found natural remedies effective to those who are treatment-resistant, etc. And if there’s a perspective we haven’t covered, let us know!
Season 3 will include veterans, the connection to chronic pain and ACEs or Adverse Childhood Events, Black Mental Health Matters, and several other perspectives. Email us (the co-hosts) at Bridget@GivingVoiceToDepression.com or Terry@GivingVoiceToDepression.
A 6-month update on our podcast– and a thank you!
(Please click the link below to see the video.)