As a writer, a person really, it’s imperative that sometimes I show vulnerability. Or at least admit to it. But as a logical adult, it can be very uncomfortable to share with anyone, let alone the virtual universe, any issues related to medical or mental health, or even family stuff. Seeing as how I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years now, I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment.
All that being said – I take a medication with the label that reads “…for depression.” Every time I see that label, the emotions pour in. I’m not depressed. I struggle with a few things. Some days are better than others. My brain knows there’s a chemical balance that got a little wonky over the years because life happens. Not to mention the childhood disasters. Nonetheless, I don’t consider myself depressed. Again, I’m not depressed. Not in the commonly understood way, I guess. But I do get discouraged. No longer do I feel shame or condemnation in my struggles; if anything, I feel led to share the good, bad, and ugly so others won’t struggle alone. There was a time I would have never considered even for a second talking about medications and mental health and all the other taboo topics I’ve delved into especially on a publicly known source, like Running on Fumes. Absolutely not. Happily, now, this is my world and you get to read about it. Sorry not sorry.
Perhaps the labeling of people helps us fit them into proverbial boxes. Or makes diagnosis easier, more streamlined. Or something. But it can be damaging when we allow society – or well-meaning others – to label us a certain way. We’re each unique, special in our own weird way. It would be awful if we weren’t.
Which is why I think those who toy with others’ lives, their paychecks, their livelihood make it difficult for the remainder to ever establish trust. Work has proven to be a little like this. Regaining trust in the most basic way…by humanizing each person and getting to know them, personally and professionally, takes effort. Finding out their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses. Because they’ve become distrustful under a string of leadership who probably (initially) had their best interests in mind, then it went to hell in a hand basket. Time will do that to even the strongest leader. My goal is to be different, to make choices with the best of intentions but also with a plan in case the first, second, or third intention doesn’t work the way I envisioned. They deserve that from me and it should be expected.
They’re not depressed, they’re discouraged. And not all the time. Occasionally. Me, too.
I ask you –
If you were being brutally honest, how often do you feel discouraged?
Do you think people are quick to label others?
Tell me a time you overcame a tough situation.
(The post Labels first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)
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