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My Formal Introduction

Updated on December 10, 2015

Maybe this should have been my very first post, but I'd like to “formally” introduce myself. That’s usually how a friendship starts. You start with a greeting, then an introduction, then small talk, then everything usually builds from there. If there were a formula as to how to make friends, that would be my version of it. But I’m not really one for formulas, so my version isn’t the only version as to how to interact with others. So here is the contrast of how I would want to say when meeting someone versus what actually happens. It also relates in some ways as to how you view yourself versus how you want other to view you. However, in the process I often stumble on my own words, even typing them.

"I'm Andrea. I'm a dancer, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a friend, a high school graduate, a being. I love helping people and I hate labels. I intend to change the world"

Or at least, that's how I would like to introduce myself to others. But more often than not, it usually ends up going something like this:

"I'm Andrea, I have depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, have had problems with eating and dance is fun. I want to help others but I don't think I'm good or important enough to do so, so sometimes I wonder why I should bother trying. I've been to 20 placements, 8 hospitals and 12 programs. Therapy consumes my life and that's about it."

I find that it is much harder to talk about ourselves than it is to talk about others. It can be almost natural in a sense to talk about others; their appearance, their backgrounds, their life decisions and many more qualities and assets to others that should enhance their uniqueness that instead leave them and vulnerable to the judgments we make of others.

If you’re anything like me, you may be mixed up or be confused as to who you are as well as what really matters when telling our stories. The cool thing about this world is that as convincing as it may seem, you are not your diagnosis, you are not your problems and you are not the opinions of others. You are not a numerical value that you may find looking down on at a scale and you are not a waste of space.

You are in fact how you deal with your problems in addition to how you make peace, live with and overcome your diagnosis, and above all you can be the one who challenges the opinions of others and become who you choose to be.

That last part is completely up to you; and unfortunately it can be increasingly harder as time passes to ignore opinionated people and judgments, especially with a mental illness of any kind.

Society is so quick to judge by appearance and not by taking the few minutes it requires to get to know someone, but instead they throw labels on others. Labels belong on jars, not people. I am Andrea, I am not depression. Who are you, reader, and what do you choose to be?


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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I feel similar to you. I sometimes feel that I want to change the world, and perhaps I am, in my own way. I often define myself by my position, that being a wife, mother, and grandmother. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years and have seven beautiful children. I also have depression and anxiety. Sometimes I feel that they are my most defining characteristics, but I know that is not true. I am also a musician, a writer, an office manager, a teacher, and most importantly a life skills consultant. I help people make good choices and learn important skills. I have self-published a number of things in my life-time. These are what I do, but they are not who I am. I am Denise W. Anderson, a daughter of God. When I remember this, I feel the best about myself.