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Sarah’s Story

“Don’t wait for your epiphany.”

Share your stigma experience.

I was going through a very low period while in the process of being diagnosed with a life-long, chronic illness. I was also trying to maintain work, build a company, and pretending nothing was happening even though I couldn’t get out of bed most days. I was told by my one of my business partners to just “stop being so sad.” I chalked it up to a joke or ignorance until I found out he has personal family experience with bipolar depression, and persistently and not-jokingly continued to tell me this as if it were an actual solution. He genuinely thought he was being helpful. This was one minor struggle to overcome with the entire experience.

How did you overcome this experience?

It got to me. I kept thinking ‘why can’t I just be better,’ ‘I thought I was stronger than this,’ ‘why am I so broken’? I was in denial for a long time, both before and after my partner’s ignorance. It took years and I finally had an epiphany while driving over a large local bridge one day and wondered what it would feel like to drive off of it. What would it feel like? What would I experience? How long would the freefall take? How would it affect my family and friends? That’s when I admitted I needed help.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Don’t wait for your epiphany. I wish someone told me that going through a life changing experience will cause clinical depression and anxiety; they go hand-in-hand. I started talking with a counselor and taking medication. It took a while to find the right mix, but find what helps you.

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