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Speaking Out About Our Lived Experience

We can feel quite vulnerable sharing personal stories about mental health, alcohol and other drug problems. But as Brene Brown says, it takes courage to leave ones' self vulnerable and there can be something powerful about being vulnerable. Of course there are few things to consider before talking about our lived experience. For example, we have to be careful who we share our personal stories with. We need to consider how much we say and how often we say it. And we need to keep the focus on us and respect the privacy of the people we love. It's also important to be in a reasonably good mental and emotional space when going public and talking to people about our lives, talking about feeling anxious and depressed after caring for others across time. And even then, feeling well prepared to speak out, and with a supportive audience, we can feel nervous. Worrying about what people might think about us after hearing even a small part of our story. Wondering what they might do with our information, with our lives. But sometimes it's worth taking a risk. And staying silent just doesn't work for me anymore. It served a purpose for a long time but it's important now to speak out about the challenges and complexities of living with mental health, alcohol and other drug problems.

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