Today kicks off National Mental Health Awareness Month. Four years ago today, I was fortunate to have a show on the radio and I gave it the theme of mental health and illness. Not only did all the songs fit the theme (Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression,” for instance) but I also very intimately discussed my own struggles with mental health and hospitalization. Because I knew the struggles that I would have with them, I took the extra step of scripting my talk breaks, something I hadn’t done before or since. It’s the hardest show I’ve ever done, emotionally speaking. The podcast of the show is still the only one of mine in five and a half years of broadcasting that I’ve made publicly available. It’s my proudest moment as a DJ.
The show had some unexpected results. In the years since, I’ve found out that a few of my listeners that day found the courage within themselves to seek treatment for their own situations, and credit that show with giving them the strength to help themselves. To the best of my knowledge, all of them made a long-term commitment to their own mental health and all of them are still sticking with it years later.
When I get down on myself, my wife likes to remind me about that show and its benefits to others, to show me that I do make a difference in other people’s lives. It almost always helps to turn me around and get me back to a better place mentally.
So to those people that I helped that day – thank you for helping me in return. I am extraordinarily proud of the steps you’ve taken to find your own wellness. I know that sometimes the struggle is still there, but I’m very, very glad to know that you’re still fighting the good fight.