I have been putting this off all day. On past WMH Days I have talked about my own experience of anxiety and depression at work, secretively taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, about the times I’ve been told to keep my struggles quiet.
Those days were easier than today. Talking about suicide is inherently difficult, for all the reasons we already know. But there is something that I want to add to the conversation and that might just make me the most selfish bitch going.
This is one of those posts that most people would think and never say but here goes.
I was admitted to the roll of solicitors 7 years ago this month. Most people have big celebrations, go to the admission to the roll ceremony, get their pictures taken with all their family whilst they’re wearing the black gown etc etc.
I didn’t do any of that.
I was embarrassed.
I was exhausted.
I was already on to ‘what’s next’.
There were lots of reasons why, and I appreciated what a privileged snotty nosed little shit I sound like as I say that, I know just how many people have been desperate to get to where I was and not achieved it. I’m not trying to be an ungrateful wretch, more to share some of those feelings that most of us won’t admit, even to ourselves, that we have.
As I write this I am listening in to my interview on 106.7fm Kennet Radio with Carolyn Luckygirl for her Feel Good Friday radio show.
I’m shaking with nerves, my heart is pounding, my face is flushed and I feel slightly sick.
Maybe that surprises you when I show up on live video, blog regularly, have been called a ‘professional provocateur’ but I still get nervous as hell showing up.
Every time I walk into an in-person event I get butterflies.
I listen again to every single podcast interview I appear on and critique myself.
I have recordings of my appearances on BBC 2, Radio 5 Live and more that are sitting in the archives because I’m still quite nervous to share them.
Why is that?
Because I have struggled with imposter syndrome my entire life and these moments in the spotlight can create a huge flare up of those imposter thoughts.
Does that mean I stop showing up?
Does it hell.
If I could scream just one message right into your face each day it would be this one - you’re doing a bloody brilliant job… keep going!
Sure, it doesn’t feel like it, oh, most of the time.
That’s because you’re a perfectionist type A hopeless overachiever who wants to make sure everyone and everything is perfect before you take a break and you are way too hard on yourself.
Once more for the people at the back - YOU ARE WAY TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!!
Ok, we know each other pretty well by now so can I be honest with you?
This isn’t a Pollyanna special and I have no intention of getting #soblessed whilst talking about topics that are typically A Bad Thing. No-one enjoys depression or burnout. It’s not a happy happy fun time with the Scooby Gang. So why am I grateful?