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Why I Give Big for SUFFER OUT LOUD

To reduce the stigma around mental health.

My closet anxiety and depression began in the 4th grade. I didn’t talk to anyone about it because I thought that was weak and wimpy and because I had privilege on my side so I should shut the hell up.

My young, white, suburban girl anxiety wasn’t over worrying about my physical safety, if I had a roof over my head, or food in my belly. My anxiety was over wanting people, the ‘right people’ (popular kids), to like me so I’d ‘fit in’. And my depression was from assuming no one did.

I vividly remember looking at the cleaning agents in the basement of my parents' house wondering which one I could swallow that would kill me. And then wondering what if it didn’t work and I failed at killing myself? Then I’d be worse off than I am now because everyone would know I’m even more of a failure.

Decades of personal growth and learning (and therapy) have taken place since then, but that little girl will always be a part of me. Sometimes in my meditation I invite her to sit on my lap and be held. It might sound silly, but it works. We both feel better afterwards.