Lately I have received a lot of questions asking me why I am being so open about the Anxiety, mild depression and ADHD and aren’t I afraid it will hurt my career. For the record I have received far more compliments, thanking me for my openness and honesty. Not to mention a tremendous amount of support. But the question has been asked enough that I want to attempt to address it. I will start with the second part of the question. Yes, I am worried it will effect my career. Not so much at my current job. I have been there for 8 1/2 years, started as a temp, was hired on full-time in about a month and have had at least 4 promotions in that time period. Now if at some point I shop my skills around which honestly I am not planning on in the near future, I do worry. Recruiters and hiring managers google stalk their candidates. I know it, its wrong, it shouldn’t happen, but it does. They get way to much access to protected information and the internet is not a reliable source of information. And of course there is always the possibility that who you think you are googling is not who you are googling – Feel free to read my post Not an 80′s Actor, No seriously I’m not.
The first part of the question is more complicated especially in light of the fact I know it can impact my career, even though it shouldn’t because my track record more than speaks for itself. The fact of the matter is for more years than I care to admit, I denied there was a problem. I refused to accept it because it was taboo. In the last month, since starting treatment, I have felt calmer and more at peace than I have in my entire life. But I had refused to admit there was a problem and spent way too much of my life needlessly in pain, and for what? Ego. Fear that someone might not think I am the perfect picture of metal health. The shame of something that should not be taboo and is treatable. So that is why I talk about it. It shouldn’t be taboo, hidden and just suffered through. I spent too many years in needless pain and I know there are far too many people out there in the same position, just needing the right shove or encouragement. If at the end of the day, if I just end up helping one person with my story, then I will never regret sharing it.
I like to think of myself as a pretty logical person, skeptical in many ways. But I believe in G-d and some sort of universal plan. Ever since I was a little kid I felt there was something I was supposed to be doing, some plan for me. Part of me even wonders it is the reason I am still alive – I really shouldn’t have survived a good long period of dangerously reckless behavior. But I did. And when I saw each of my boys I saw pieces of that puzzle. The My Place in the Universe puzzle, for lack of a better term. I think I figured out another large piece of it this week. Over the last month thousands of people have read my Egret the Elephant poems/stories and/or my battle with Anxiety, depression and ADHD. My ego would love to believe that I can change the world. Become a successful children’s writers and make millions of kids and parents happy. That through my honestly about my battles I can and will help lots of people, stop this from being taboo. Who knows, maybe I can, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. I know I have helped people, I know I have made people happy. Maybe I’m not meant change the wold, but G-d wiling I will change my piece of it.