Fear # 3
The fear of revealing too much … are you an open book?
This past week in my Dale Carnegie course we had to give an “emotionally charged” 2 minute speech about someone who had inspired us. For me, this is extremely difficult. By nature, I am normally a very reserved individual. Usually, I do not reveal anything too personal about myself until I know your intentions and know you well. I am also not very trusting of others – this is most likely due to being made fun of for the majority of my childhood. I also have this innate desire to please others, to the point of buying their friendship/happiness. I have learned that this never works. You have to be yourself and you have to share yourself with others. No one will ever know you if you do not show a small piece of yourself at a minimum.
My nerves were wracked, I clenched my fists and wrung my hands together. I was so nervous. How was I going to give this kind of speech? Sure, I could make it easy and just speak about how Rafa Nadal was a huge inspiration to me; to have courage and persevere in his career, ultimately giving me inspiration to lose weight. But that would be too easy; I had to make it personal. Very personal. So I did. I talked about my mother and the inspiration she has been. There are two sides of this coin. She has been an inspiration in both her courage and strength to leave behind all she knew when she was a young woman to leave the Caribbean and come to Canada and start over. She has also been an inspiration in reminding me how precious and delicate our health is. My mother suffers from a mental illness among other health problems – she is 71. She has inspired me to reduce the stress and worry in my life for fear of developing a mental illness. It has been proven that high levels of stress can lead to mental issues later in life. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, employees who considered most of their days to be quite a bit or extremely stressful were over 3 times more likely to suffer a major depressive episode, compared with those who reported low levels of general stress.
I dug deep and made the speech, I told it from my heart with sincerity. How could I not? I have seen firsthand how difficult it can be to try and help someone who is in denial about an illness – or someone who feels there is nothing wrong with them. To see my father suffer, not knowing what to do, or who to turn to. He himself is extremely courageous for sticking it out and doing what he can for my mother. The hardest part is that there is a stigma around mental illness; you get put in a corner…out of sight, out of mind…right? NO. Not nice.
It is a serious issue, especially with an aging baby boomer population that could easily be stricken with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, etc… Then you have the younger generation stressed out so much about the economy, technology, and keeping their jobs; that they are in a state of depression.
That is why a good work/life balance is so important!
Take the CAMH Work/Life Balance Quiz! http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/work-life-balance-quiz/
Other helpful links:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven. JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost