I’ve had a nagging feeling that I needed to write about this topic for a while and I haven’t for fear of judgment. In honor of a mental health campaign in Edmonton titled 11 of Us after the statistic that 11 Edmontonians that attempt or die by suicide each day) and my core values of honesty, impact and service, here it is, my struggle with mental health.
June 4th, 2010 – This day should have been the biggest moment in my life up to that point. I walked across the stage and graduated from MIT. Coincidentally, it was also my 22nd birthday. I remember feeling void, questioning what’s next for me. Up until recently, those feelings never left.
I struggled with purpose and meaning, often questioning who I am or what’s the point of being here. It got so bad, I went to the hospital for depression/suicidality and they put me on medication. Funnily enough, the medication made it worse. I went to a psychiatrist, I tried group therapy, I tried telephone counselling, I took 5 different medications, I went to church, I moved, I changed jobs, I sifted through hours of podcasts/videos/books looking for the answer. It’s been almost 10 years and, with the help of my coach, I’m finally putting the pieces together of who I am and what I’m here to do.
Who am I? I’m a continuous learner who wants to distill & share everything I learn with you.
Why am I here? I’m here to impact the world by being who I am.
I was trained to look outside myself for the answers, to be analytical, to be logical. That’s why I searched for so long and was unsuccessful in every attempt. The answers are within you. You just haven’t been trained to find them.
If you struggle with mental health, I encourage you to get help. I encourage you to take the first step and talk to someone. Based on my experiences, don’t stop if the first step doesn’t work. Try someone new, ask for help somewhere else. Eventually, you’ll find your truth.
You’re not alone. You are worthy. You deserve to be happy.
Reliability Never Sleeps,
2 Resources That Might Be Helpful (they are Canadian resources so you may need to find the appropriate local resource in your area)
- Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 686868 from a Canadian phone
- Help Right Now – Canadian Mental Health Association
Larry George says
Best wishes. Keep trying. Problems could be caused by other people and practices.
Maybe we’re all mentally suspect, judging by tradition and practices in reliability. Of course I am guilty of confirmation bias.
Reality trumps prediction
We’re always trying Larry! I’m not sure we’re all mentally suspect, I think we’re trying to make the world better!
Ananthakrishnan Narayanan says
You are mighty brave to write this. The taboo needs to be gone. Stay strong, you are not alone.
I appreciate it Ananth! We’re getting better every day!
No one is talking about this and it’s so pervasive – especially for the Millenial generation. Have struggled with depression and anxiety – yoga literally saved me. Yoga a day keeps mental health stable and okay 😉
In jest, but highly recommend heated vinyasa flow for anyone struggling with depression and anxiety.
Good to hear you found a solution for you, Kate! There is definitely a lot to be said about any form of meditation whether active or not.
Thank you for posting this Rob. I am currently going through depression and your post made me feel that I am not alone in this. And I can overcome
I hope you find your answers Ana! You aren’t alone and this is a conversation we need to be having in our industry.
Good on you for sharing this, Rob! I agree that talking about it is key. Suffering in silence gives rise to shame, so lay it all out there and you’re already on the road to improving!