How Google Hangouts saved my life
I am bipolar and just 1 year ago I was an absolute mess. My doctor didn't like one of the medications I was on so they wanted me to go off of it. I was reluctant, but several doctors had made the same recommendation so I was willing to go along with it. Within days of stopping the medication I was in a personal hell I can't even describe a year later. I knew that I didn't want to die but I also had absolutely no hope about anything. This was the start of the worst depression of my life that included what seemed like never ending thoughts of suicide.
This was right around the time I really started to understand Google+ and hangouts. I had numerous doctors tell me that I should go to a support group but with my work schedule I couldn't find one that I was actually willing to go to. So I started my own via Google Hangout. The people I met through that process have profoundly touched my life and I will forever be in debt to them for helping me survive the scariest time in my life.
The people who were brave enough to join me (a stranger) wanting to do a hangout support group for depression and anxiety are amazing individuals. Individuals who shared their wealth of knowledge of medications and side effects and tools and coping mechanism and compassion. They are my hero's. And they helped keep me fighting, which helped save my life.
Four months after going off medication I convinced the doctor to let me start it again and my mood immediately started to stabilize. I will forever be changed by those few months, I think I'm a better person as a result. So I can't say I completely regret the experience however it also scarred me as well.
A year later this segment of my journey may be over but I have new friends and people I will carry in my heart always. They are kindred spirits who share the dark journey of depression and anxiety and they share their hearts and souls openly in hopes that it will help them find the peace they seek.
So my lesson is this Google Hangouts are great for meeting people, celebrities, learning about science & technology, discussing every topic under the sun. But consider the things that aren't mentioned very often in public Depression, Alcoholism, Addiction, Grief, Isolation. There are others out there that have the same struggles and almost everyone will benefit from the real human interaction. Find a group of people with similar interests or struggles and start a hangout and see what happens.
This is a post that's been brewing for a while. I share these parts of me because I am confident where I am in my life. The people that matter to me (including my employer) know my struggles and they still appreciate what I offer the world, and my struggles are part of who I am. And I know I'm not the only one so if I can help just one person by sharing then it's all worth it. If you're scared and unsure then send me a message and I'll try my best to help. It's the least I can do for all the help I've been given.
Image from candornews.com