Obviously this is not a photo of mine. It’s from a website. Credit to Vox.com,
I’ve been writing speeches for my project, TheFacesOfDeprssion.org (go check it out 🙂 If I am going to change the stigmas attached to depression and anxiety problems, I have to get my message out there and talk to people face to face. I start with the usual speech writing techniques; 1 Tell them what you are going to tell them, 2 Tell them, 3 Tell them what you told them, and a call to action.
Number 1 needs some refinement. This part is basically my elevator speech to explain why I’m here. The overall message is that I am attempting to de-stigmatize depression and anxiety, so that others may live life openly instead of hiding behind their Face that they must put on for the world to see, since their real Face is too embarrassing to let be seen the light of day. I also want to convey this is not only is tolerance talk, but an also and educational one of sorts. This part still needs work. It’s not succinct or clear enough. It’s hard to verbalize what I feel. I can feel what I want to say, but it comes out….kind of…clinical and non descriptive. And definitely not entertaining,
Number 2 is off to a great start. Tell them stories, the Captain says!! I have three stories that I’m working on. I just need to be more descriptive and draw a mental picture for them. One enough for people to be able to stand in my shoes and see the world the way I did/do. An easy example; in High School, I was going lunch with the cool kids for the first time and had an anxiety attack (only realized much later in life that is was an anxiety attack), and totally lost my hearing, or at least the ability to understand words. Everything was moving in slow motion and ttttthhhhhhhheeeeee wwwwwwwoooooorrrrrrdddddssssss wwwwwweeeeerrrrreeee ssssssooooouuuuunnddddddiiiinngggg….you get the point. I couldn’t hear, understand what was going on around me, or respond. I was totally frozen and unable to function. That should be easy fodder for someone to draw a clear picture of, and make it entertaining at the same time. Maybe I should call John Hughes. I will think about that one for a while. I mean, who hasn’t had some incredibly awkward moments in high school. Your body and mind are a total mess at 16.
Number 3 is more difficult. I need to sum it all up, and call them to action, and leave them in a state of wanting more and excited. Definitely not leaving them depressed or feeling sorry for “us poor souls”, or “the ones that can’t hack it in the real world that need to just buckle down and rub some dirt on it”. FYI-Rubbing dirt in a wound was a childhood coach’s way of saying get over it and get back in the game!
I keep backing myself into the corner of “we (the sufferers) are different and you can’t understand, but want to be treated as equals”. That message makes as much sense as an elevator in an outhouse. I want to leave them thinking more along the lines of, ” we all go through depressive and anxious times at one time or another. Some people just don’t come out of that.” We live that way everyday, and it’s ok, because we are fighting our lives, and don’t need any more barriers like the stigmas. It’s already hard enough. In some cases we are literally fighting to live as who we are and stop carrying the burden of living multiple lives, and some are fighting to really stay alive. There are comparisons to those fighting for their life the same way they would if they had cancer. No one chose to have Treatment Resistant Depression, or overwhelming anxiety that keeps an emotional condom on you at all time. (I like that visual :). But I do want the audience to see that we are dealing with the same crap they do, just on a different scale, so don’t act crazy if we decide to take off our Face and live our lives who were are; our genuine selves.
The cartoon above shows some funny comparisons. They make me laugh because of the side of the fence that I’m on, but I wonder if it is insulting to the other side, or is it informative?