One of the hardest things for me to deal w, is disappointing anyone. When you do something for someone, & they aren’t completely satisfied, it hurts to know there’s more/different ways things could have been done to make someone/a group feel better.
At one of the tour stops this wk in the Midwest, a young woman, in a wheelchair, gave us some feedback: there was no one on stage that she could relate to. Despite hearing stories from a variety of speakers – stories ranging from addiction to head trauma, sexual abuse to being bedridden w depression, she said that it didn’t resonate bc she didn’t see herself up there.
Don’t get me wrong, the overall feedback we’ve gotten on forms, in person, from the smiles, from counselors saying more have opened up from our events, have been so rewarding. But, I’m still stuck w the feedback from that one young woman in the wheelchair, & trying to figure out how I/we can best position all of this to apply even more so to everyone.
Here’s what I told her: Although you saw a pro athlete, a fellow student, a sports executive on stage, walking, talking & trying to inspire – had you not heard their stories, you wouldn’t have known just by looking at them, that they struggled w major challenges in their lives. You’d see them in person like we see individuals on social media – having “everything going for them” when in fact, they’ve/we’ve been thru the ringer.
I don’t know how well that msg got thru, catered for her. Often when you give someone an answer, they politely say thx & smile…so it’s hard to judge. But…it made me think more abt the MH epidemic. If we continue to hammer home how LIFE CHALLENGES affect us ALL, & those challenges are difficult to “deal with mentally/emotionally,” can’t that eventually bind us ALL together?
Being blind, deaf, in a wheelchair, debilitating depression, suicidal ideations, down syndrome, alopecia, witnessing major trauma – no we can’t compare “levels” of pain, but isn’t what binds us TOGETHER -our life challenges? I’m hoping we can all be one team one day. Maybe #SameHere🤙, I too deal w challenges, can be part of getting us there.