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As I’ve shared before, I was the very first guest writer to share my story when Lauren Bersaglio started this adventure of Libero. At the time, I was in a place where I had accepted my depression was something I struggled with but didn’t define me. I knew recovery was something I so desperately wanted, and already I was at a place where it was finally getting better; the grey darkness began to lift, and life started taking on a whole new meaning.
I wasn’t at a place, however, where I wanted to start sharing my story.
I was deeply paranoid of what people would think of me and what the implications would be when I finally shared about my struggles with depression. What if people made fun of me? What if I lost friends? What if I couldn’t get a job because of my mental illness? At the time I called myself “recovered,” and in essence, I was. However, there was something missing.
It took me a long time to realize what the missing piece was. When I entered recovery it was all for myself – and rightly so. I needed to do a lot of personal rebuilding. I was constantly looking at what exactly brought me to a place of depression, what I needed to do to conquer it, and what my life would look like once I started the long process of rebuilding.
I needed to remember how to love myself and those around me.
My friend group changed because of my goals and values shifting. I got a new job and I left a lot of hobbies (that were mostly unhealthy) on the wayside, so I was looking for new, healthy, positive hobbies to fill my time. I started studying again in school, which took up a lot of time as well.
It was a constant mantra of me, me, me. I knew I needed it to be that way, but once I was in a place of health and positivity, I was left feeling a little unimportant and unfulfilled. It wasn’t until Lauren B. shared her story about her struggle with an eating disorder that I realized the missing piece to my puzzle.
I read the brave, bold, painful note Lauren posted on Facebook and I realized I had to do the same.
I needed to share my story.
So I emailed her and started my time at Libero. My guest blog post was the very first time I shared my story. And let me tell you, looking back on everything, it was one of the best decisions I could have made.
There is so much benefit personally to sharing your story, but there is also a benefit to others as well.
In a great “AHA!” moment, I realized I couldn’t keep my victory over my depression to myself. It would be an opportunity wasted, and I never would be where I am without it.
You see, there is such a catharsis that happens when you share your story.
Every time I write about my depression, talk about it, share with others about it, it’s almost as if an ounce of weight is lifted from my shoulder.
Although it didn’t seem like an impact at first, once I started talking about my struggles, failures, successes, goals, and vision, I became more and more whole.
It’s almost like bleeding out an infection in the sense that once it starts to leave your body, you breathe a sigh of relief. You aren’t fully aware of the effect it can have on you until you finally let it go. There was tremendous and irrevocable freedom when I shared my story.
I also learned sharing my story intrinsically brought me together with people I would never have connected with before.
Recently, there was a mother who came up to me from my church that told me they read my article about my struggle with depression and had a “You too? I’m not alone?!” moment. Having community with someone I wouldn’t normally connect with is so rewarding and important to me because it shows you aren’t struggling alone.
There are people closer than I thought who I shared my story with and word by word, I felt better and better.
I took control of my story and how I could share it instead of letting it fall by the wayside, untold and unused.
I do have to say, sharing your story is not something to be taken lightly.
It takes bravery, and also a maturity in your recovery in order to share your story without triggering you or leaving you feeling like you just missed a step on the stairs. It is deeply personal and raw, and I would caution you to really think about when, to whom, and how you share your story.
If I look back four years, I never could imagine in my wildest daydreams that I would be writing for Libero Network, recovered, whole, and with the capacity to share my story.
However, it only took someone else sharing their story before I realized that sharing my story is one of the most important things I could have done.
After all, without sharing my story, I wouldn’t have hope, love, or freedom, and I am thankful every day I can share my story in hope to help someone else get to the place I am today. All it takes is one word.
Mark is currently in high school and hopes to study International Law in the future. He struggled with depression for four years until finally winning the battle. Upon first hearing about Libero, he made the decision to bring his story about depression and how he has dealt with it in hopes to spread awareness and bring support to those going through depression. With still being in high school, he will offer a teenagerʼs perspective on depression and relationships through sharing the many challenges and victories he has faced with both. Mark hopes that through his writing he can help others understand that brokenness can lead to wholeness.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.