I don’t think it’s any secret that we have a mental health crisis around the world. There are so many manifestations of it, but as a civilization we are struggling in ways and on a scale that we never have in human history. On the whole, we’ve become better about recognizing that and having the difficult but needed conversations. But we are still missing the personal voices that matter so much in helping to untangle this big, loosely defined thing that is “mental health”.

I have a disorder that has been extremely difficult to live with. I’ve been dealing with it for the majority of my life, according to my own estimation. It has been a largely destructive force in my life, taking so much from me: happiness, purpose, friends, work. It’s a terrible rollercoaster that you can’t get off of (especially awful for me since I HATE rollercoasters). I was only diagnosed about 2 years ago, and I’ve finally learned how to stop the ride.

It hasn’t been easy sharing all this information – it’s scary enough to reflect on these in private, but it’s downright terrifying to share it with the world. I’ve decided to do this for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s extremely cathartic. It’s not easy to write these words but seeing them on paper gives me hope and courage and a certain amount of pride. Every person has adversity in their journey, and I don’t pretend to be special for having some in my own life. But each person has unique adversities, and my specific difficulties are ones that aren’t experienced by most people. In writing about them, I get to reframe and cherish some of the worst parts of my life. It feels damn good to write, it’s as simple as that.

The more important reason I wrote this is to share my voice with you, and to encourage you to share your voice and listen to the voices of others. I’ve been lucky to have friends, family and even employers who have shown me great empathy, but I was never able to explain why I behaved the way I did for a long time. I wish I had been able to express exactly what was going on at the time, but since I couldn’t I hope that this will explain some things. I’m trying to pay more attention to what is going on with the people in my life, trying to figure out whether someone is struggling or running from their Monster. I think it’s something we all need to do for each other. Love is the highest purpose, and only through loving and understanding each other can we hope to make our collective lives and society an open book where we share our greatest joys and darkest sorrows.

Listening to my story is the beginning, but the next step is talking. I hope more of us will be willing to share what is happening in our own lives with the world. Even as mental health becomes more “mainstream” and mental disorders are becoming better understood by the public, I still feel that there are unique stories told by everyday voices that are not being heard. It’s nice to see bipolar disorder featured more on TV, but I don’t really care what a committee of writers who haven’t experienced this disorder can come up with. I’m not trying to take way from others attempts to increase representation of mental health/disorders. I just think we all need to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth – depression shown on TV is a good start, but people with depression writing about their lived experiences is worth it’s weight in gold.

I don’t just mean that we need more people with mental disorders sharing their experience. I think we need everyone. Not everyone has bipolar disorder, but virtually everyone goes through bouts of anxiety, depression, burnout, hopelessness and so much more. I think my experience is unique – but so is that of every mother and father who deal with postpartum depression, and that of every person who’s ever held a job that made waking up in the morning feel impossible. There’s a reason “mental” health has been so difficult for us to wrap our heads around: our brains are brilliant little creatures, but ones where the good and bad, emotions and thoughts, and wellness and illness can’t be separated so neatly.

Instead of trying to organize all that, I suggest that we share it all. You don’t have to start big – take a friend aside and tell them when you’re having a really bad day, and maybe talk about a few other ones you’ve had recently. Start sharing with yourself. Take a minute during the day to stop and do nothing. I’m not asking you to meditate, but just let all the things you’re feeling wash over you (okay, so I’m kind of asking you to meditate).

More than anything, if you’re up for it, write. Write about what you’re feeling now and what you have felt in the past. Write about things that have happened recently and a long time ago. Write 1 sentence – that’s good enough. You’re not trying to write a novel. You’re just looking for a reprieve, a momentary escape.

If you would like to write a bit more, I’d like to offer this blog as a place where you can publish. You can write as much or as little as you’d like. You don’t need to have a mental disorder – mental health is something that we all have and that we’ve all struggled with at some point. You’re already exceptional by having that pesky brain that all of us have. You can write under your name or anonymously. You’re writing for yourself so there are no rules. Like I said, start with 1 sentence. If that’s good enough, share it with me. If you’d like to write more, go for it.

Sharing the worst of you often leads to the best of you – that’s what I feel has happened in my case. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. I hope a lot of people read this blog. I hope it helps someone in some small way. I wrote this to be read, and I won’t pretend otherwise. However, even if the only people who read are my family, I feel like it was worth it 100x over. I feel like a load has been lifted.

Share any and all thoughts you have with me – either in the comments or by emailing me at sanat@theworstofme.com.

Thank you for the kindness you have done in reading this, because I truly see it as a kindness. I hope the worst of you helps you find the best of you.

2 thoughts on “The Worst of Me, The Best of Me”
  1. These blog posts are amazing Sanat, and you’re incredibly brave for sharing! It’s a long journey to take care of our bodies, inside and out, and there’s a never-ending amount to learn. Thanks for taking the time to write about your disorder so we can also reflect on ours.


    1. Jay, I’ve received a lot of encouraging messages but I think yours is one of my favorites. Thank you for taking the time to read all my posts. You’re absolutely right about taking care of ourselves in every sense, especially mentally. You made my day

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