While on lunch today with my boss, editor-in-chief, and co-worker, I was reminded of how easy it can be to share your story.
In the midst of a dimly-lit Italian restaurant, the four of us began talking about suicide and mental illness. The editor-in-chief of the magazine I am interning at had worked at a suicide hotline in college; as she shared her stories about the difficulties she was faced with at this job, we began talking about the difficulty that many people struggle with and what leads them to their breaking point.
When I was hired for the summer, I shared this blog and some of my writing samples with my boss and he asked what my motivation was for the type of writing I do, afterall, discussing suicide and depression are not “light topics” as he explained. The more I explained my past and my story, the more I could see his face change into what looked like sadness and pity. At the end of the conversation, he apologized for making me explain, but I wasn’t sorry he asked at all.
For me, talking about my story and opening up about suicide and depression has made it easier for me to bring up the topic at any point in my life, even if it is just a staff goodbye lunch.
This topic can be hard to bring up initially, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you get. It’s not something to be ashamed of and more people need to start talking about it. It can be a way to bond, share stories, or even, save a life.