I put myself on a limb this week. I was asked to speak to the Grade 12 girls phyed class at the school I work for, about depression and suicide. I prepared my lesson, made my notes on the myths of depression and the realities of the illness. Talked about the stigma of it, dealing with the doctors and medication and how your mind tricks and misleads you. I was all prepared to talk about it in 3rd person. I did not want to admit that I suffered from this. I didn’t want to acknowledge that there are times; like this week, I feel sad, and uncontrollable, and prone to substance abuse— in this case red wine abuse. The thought of how do I do this and admit my issues and receive their respect, or take me seriously crossed my mind.
As I started the class I went over myths and facts of depression and mental illness. As we discussed this I looked at them and realized that if I did not admit this instead of bluffed my way through as a friend of a depressed person they would soon see through it and disregard anything I had to say. I came clean and admitted what I had been through they hung on every word and had a great class. I even got some good feed back from the students and they took what I had to say to heart and at one point was asked if my faith was damaged by my illness, and as I explained that I was confused about my faith in the beginning cause I didn’t know if it was a crisis of faith or depression I got the chance to tell the girls what I believe in and why my Lord is important to me.
In the end it was a good experience, I can’t tell you how exposed I felt doing it, and even now as we pass each other in the halls I still feel exposed but they smile and wave, but I didn’t want to bull sh** the girls I wanted them to get something out of the experience and they did, so win win.
How am I today- well I am pleased that I got to express my faith to the class, I am happy with what they want to do with their knowledge and how they are watching out for their friends and family. I am still feeling a little shaky the end of this week but some self discipline and sleep will probably help. Maybe some exercise too…………………….till next time.