Pay It Forward
While presenting at Ryerson University last week on youth, homelessness and mental health/addictions the professor commented that he thinks it’s great that despite the stigma and pain we have experienced in our lives we give back.
It had never occurred to me not to give back.
After a year of lying to a social worker, because 1) I didn’t want the help and 2) she told me she’d never known someone who cut, I decided in grade 10 that I wanted to be a social worker. I wanted to help young people like me. I wanted them to know that I understood. I wanted them to know that they’re not freaks. I wanted to give them what I felt I never got. That drive was far more powerful then the stigma and pain ever were.
Self harming and being diagnosed with chronic depression greatly shaped my life and who I was then and now. It was not a part of that I could easily ignore. I didn’t want to ignore it.
I can’t imagine where my life would be if I wasn’t working in mental health.