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You are not alone!

May 3, 2016

Let’s just say that I’m shocked that this last posting “The Slippery Slope…” was reported by Facebook to be the most viewed posting in MacySwim history.  At first I thought that people may just be reveling in the story of my fall.  (Then I told myself to get out of the depression fog.)  Maybe what it is really about is being honest, open and raw.  To that end, I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to those of you who reached out to me after this last update. (You may be thinking that a blog post is not that personal of a response, but there were many that reached out or read the post and I felt important to share this part of the journey here on MacySwim.)

You took time to share your journeys through similar pain, anxiety, depression, and slide down the slippery slope. It has taken me some time to process all of your emails, texts, messages and stories. At first, I was overwhelmed and wondered “How can I help? I’m not doing enough. I didn’t know.” Then I realized that by sharing your story what you were really saying was “You are not alone. Keep struggling. Keep fighting the good fight and there will be moments where the sun shines.”

I want to let each of you know the same message. You are not alone. This is a crazy world where we hide portions of who we are because society, family or other pressures tell us it is not OK. Thank you for having the courage to share your own journey with me and provide me some light as I hide under the covers and continue to fight to move forward through pain, through fear, through depressions and anxiety. I have read and re-read your messages and in them I see hope.

I have decided to continue to share this dark period of my journey. In a time when stories of heroes quickly overcome adversity, I have found that it makes me feel like I should rise quickly. I think it is important to share that being “face down in the arena” is not always a quick recovery. Sometimes it is a long battle of getting up and knocked down. If I can provide similar hope or a tiny flicker of light in the darkness for someone like you all did for me, then continuing to share this story is critical.

Below is a small excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic” – Sorbonne Paris France 4/23/1910

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

SIDE NOTE:  Many stated that my posting was brave.  I’m still struggling with the questions:  Was it brave because I shared that I have depression, anxiety and have struggles?  As in “Holy crud, that was brave I wouldn’t share that. Think who will see it”  Or is it brave because I am struggling and fighting?  On good days it is the latter,  on bad days the former.  Maybe in a lot of ways the statement reflects both questions.  And in the end, does it matter?

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