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What if I am not ready yet?

A love letter to those mid process…#WorldMentalHealthDay

By Lauren, Tap Elderly Women’s Wisdom for Youth (TEWWY), Empowerment grantee, Tanzania

“Are you Lauren?” “Can we talk?” She called me because she had a problem with alcohol.  Although I pride myself in my lack of shame, I didn’t want to have the conversation in front of the room full of guests standing in my living room. So I sheepishly asked, “Hey, can I call you back?”

She never called back. Nor could I reach her after many futile attempts of trying. I never heard from her again but the words “Are you Lauren?” “Can we talk?” will forever stay engraved in my mind.  So will the constant ringing on the other end of the line.

Share your story. End the stigma. Free the shame. Post the hash tag.  This World Mental Health Day, the pressure to share will come from each and every angle. Sharing means you are comfortable, free, empowered and doing it right. Lack of sharing means you better up your game so that next year you are ready to share—making sure you rally the troops for the big reveal. .

 This begs the question though …What if I am not ready yet?

In a sea of sharing where people are supposed to be shame free and embracing their flaws, people mid process are left asking….Am I doing something wrong?

I often times think back to why I didn’t think of a better response to that call in my living room.  I remember the pressure on my chest and sweaty palms.  I remember thinking why couldn’t I have been the brave one who didn’t care?  It’s a question that has stayed with me till today.

So to anyone on this World Mental Health Day who has ever said to someone or wanted to say,  “Hey, can I call you back?” I see you, I believe in you and this one is for you.

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