Oh man, if there’s a question we get asked more often than this, I can’t think of it!
We get people of all ages asking us this
And we can only give one answer which is, of course, our real-life experience.
The particular experience we want to draw on today, takes place in late 2017
Our families knew about our prior experiences with recurrent depression, anxiety and suicide attempts
But that doesn’t automatically mean we explained them properly, authentically or well
Like so many other adult-children, our overpowering instincts were to both protect our parents from the truth, so they would worry and to try and keep making them proud
Well, we found out that aiming for these outcomes can only result in vague and confusing conversations
But, we digress
That’s another story for another time
So, how did we finally manage to talk openly and honestly to our parents about our declining mental health:
We stuck to the facts.
And we released the need to control how they felt, or responded to the facts we presented We didn’t ask for their approval. Nor did we justify how or why we were experiencing adverse mental health
And, from that point on, we never wavered from this approach
It didn’t happen overnight, but they all did their own research
Asked questions of us when they needed to
And all began their own voyages of mental health discovery
So, in a nutshell, those are the basics of how we did it
Its important we start by telling you this
Because it seems like an impossible task to even think about having this conversation effectively, with the generations senior to us
Let us assure you that we too felt the same way. And we were mistaken
Now, bearing in mind what we’ve told you, how we stuck to the facts and released our need to control the outcome:
We would like you to spend just five minutes, imagining how you yourself might use this approach
Not actually putting it into a real life conversation yet
Just letting your mind wrap itself around the possibilities of this new approach
Its all about the small steps...
We look forward to another Annex chat with you soon!