Not THAT one! (well, that one, too!)
My name is Lana, and I’m a social service provider who lives with depression. From the time I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago until today, I’ve tried to avoid the stigma of that label. When I was in graduate school, I wasn’t allowed to work in internships for a time because the faculty was afraid that I might not be able to provide care and service on a professional level. They never understood that my depression didn’t hamper me–if anything, it made me more able to meet people where they are and offer them compassion. The work kept me going.
Over my career, there have been several periods of time where I was unable to provide support in paid positions. But I have always tried to find some way (whether it was through volunteering or writing) to be present for people in need.
I know what it’s like to feel alone in this work. I know what it’s like when others don’t understand who you are. But remember that whoever you are and whatever you’ve been through will make you a more compassionate person. Just don’t forget that we all need that compassion. Give it to each other, and most of all, give it to yourself.
This post is part of the In Good Company project. http://www.ingoodcompanyproject.org