I am going to cry today.
I'm not sure for how long, but I need to do this and to be open about it. Today I found out that someone I respected, admired, and with whom I had wonderful conversations about superheroes, k-pop, and a plethora of other shared nerdy passions, lost a battle with his Super Villains. Thanos snapped his fingers and the world lost Cameron. I don't have Dr. Strange's ability to figure out how to change the timeline to one where he remains with us, nor a gauntlet and stones to try and put things right. I can't bring him back. None of us can.
What breaks my heart the most is that he was someone that I knew in a professional context, and despite our shared interests and energizing dynamic, I didn't do what I wanted to do and what I now regret: I didn't ask to connect with him as a friend outside our existing professional relationship because I didn't want to be seen crossing a line or being rejected, as I was aware that he just may be that open and warm with all of his clients and I didn't want to misread a situation or make him uncomfortable.
I realize now, that I could have easily lived with the rejection, or pushback on boundary issues, if that turned out to be the case, and that I would have rather figured out how to ethically negotiate a friendship if it were an idea he was equally receptive too. But I never got the chance to find out. I waited too long.
I don't want to miss opportunities like that again. I will live with greater intention and boldness. I will take the risk because the loss can be greater if I don't. I will live with the aspiration to do the things that we both talked about doing, but that he will never be able to do again.
He was enthusiastic about my Superhero work, but never gave me any clue that he was a fellow Superhero. He lived hidden in plain sight, as many of us do, keeping our battles to ourselves. Sometimes until we are no longer able to ask for help.
I am tired of mourning the loss of beautiful souls. I am tired of the stigma around mental health that keeps us quiet.
I will cry today, and tomorrow I will dust myself off and fight another day, because to do otherwise would be an injustice to Cameron and my memories of him.
Originally published January 22, 2020 on LinkedIn
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