Today, I chatted with someone in the beer industry who I've looked up to and idolized for a long time. I have a tremendous amount of respect for this person and was honestly a bit nervous or intimidated to get on the phone with them. But I'm so grateful I did!
We didn't talk about beer.
Instead, we shared stories of how depression and anxiety have affected our lives. We immediately connected over it's toll on our self worth, confidence, interpersonal relationships, etc in the workplace and in our personal lives. We talked about living in the now and not bearing the weight of the world. Being happy in the moment. Understanding what's within and outside of your control and learning to accepting your situation as it lies. We talked about how detrimental alcohol is to mental health and shared stories of how both of us had abused alcohol in an attempt to numb anxiety or depression as well as our subsequent valuing of sobriety and balance.
I was blown away when I realized how many similarities were present in our stories. Funny thing, this becoming a recurring feeling for me nowadays. It seems like the more you discuss mental health with others, the more you realize just how many people have the same struggles... How many people experience the world in the same way you do. When you start sharing and relating, the world becomes a far less scary place.
One similarity in our stories was that it took seeing a loved one's struggle to begin to understand the feelings and patterns we couldn't identify. It's inspiring to witness a loved ones' struggle and see them come out the other side healthier and happier than before. To me, this is a big area of opportunity... Let's talk about this stuff and normalize it. If more people are open and honest about mental health, more people will be encouraged to improve their state of mental health and the world can be a happier place.
I would've never thought this conversation would have happened. I am so grateful it did. Strength in solidarity.
Much Love ❤️