One of the most liberating and frankly scariest experiences of my life has been to come out in my 40’s as suffering from a major depressive condition. I have lived with Bipolar 2 since I was really young and one of my drivers for setting up my own consultancy back in 2012 was to give me the headspace away from a big corporate job in order to finally come to terms with my diagnosis, rather then expend so much energy pretending it didn’t exist.
I like to call myself a mental health thriver, even if it still occasionally gets the better of me. I passionately believe the mind is not given enough respect by societal norms and until we do that we won’t make progress in dealing with mental health issues. Why is it ok to batter someone’s mind through workplace bullying and language, when taking a stick to batter their body simply isn’t legal? Why is it not taboo to visit the physiotherapist when it largely is taboo to visit the psychotherapist?
The day I accepted that my mental health was something I needed to live in harmony with and that it had brought me good things as well as bad, that was the day I turned a corner. Through exercise, diet, lifestyle choices and medication, I feel largely in charge of my mental health and not the other way around.
Mental health issues is the pandemic we do not talk about and it is a top contributor to a lack of business performance. I have found great reward and strength in sharing my story with others and enjoy talking to workplace groups or even individuals on what that journey has meant for me, in the spirit of potentially helping and definitely normalising a subject which affects so many people.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we could work together on this most important mission or if you would like me to come and talk to your colleagues about what living with a mental health condition really means and what workplaces can do to support in a genuine way.
I have written about the stark realities of living with Bipolar and managing a career in Breaking The Glass Floor which is due to be published in 2020