How to Tell People the Truth About Yourself

How to Tell People the Truth About Yourself

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
Gloria Steinem

Blogging is great. Becoming a public figure, albeit on a very small scale not so much because unintentionally me, my name and my blog have now become a brand.

I started Get In the Hot Spot to create a fun, positive place. The kind of place you’d go to when you needed a lift or inspiration but recently that’s come back to bite me on the bum.

Although I’ve suffered from depression in the past I didn’t think about what would happen if I got depressed again. I didn’t think about what would happen if I created a blogging platform which ended up becoming a ledge, a place where I seemed to be stuck on a pedestal with only one way to go. Down.

So how do you tell people the truth about things you’d rather not admit to?

1. Know that not telling the truth makes you sick

So for a while when I got depressed I glossed over it on my blog. I continued to write the kind of upbeat posts you may have grown to love Get In the Hot Spot for. But my sparkle had gone. I rarely laughed any more in my daily life and that carried through to my writing. The silly jokes that probably only made me laugh anyway disappeared completely while I peered into my inner depths and found only darkness, doubt and despair.

The truth is I do feel ashamed telling you I’m depressed. I didn’t sign up for this but nor did my dear readers. I don’t want to drag other people down with me and I also don’t want to mess with this beautiful brand which I’ve worked hard to build.

I fear that by telling the truth about my patchy mental health and irrational emotions I will scare off valued readers as well as advertisers who may no longer want to support me and my community. There are so many people I admire and respect who I’ve connected with on social media but I worry they’ll lose respect for me now. There are many brands I’d love to work with who might not want to work with me when they read this.

They say the truth will set you free but I’m not so sure. The truth that I’m currently suffering from depression might trap me. Get me labelled with something which is only a small facet of me, the side I least want to share with the world, let alone be linked with forever.

But I’m telling the truth anyway because if I can’t be honest I can’t help myself and if I can’t help myself I can’t help anyone else either. I’m telling the truth because studies have shown that not telling the truth makes you ill so maybe telling the truth will heal me.

2. Explain the truth clearly to avoid misunderstandings

The truth is I’m taking anti-depressants now. In case you want to know I’m taking an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) called Citalapram which works by increasing levels of the mood enhancing hormone serotonin in the brain and it’s turned my life around in three short weeks. I feel like my old self again. My confidence, sense of humour and sunny outlook have magically reappeared. I’m once again the kind of person I want to be.

But I don’t like taking these drugs. I never wanted to take them and I already want to stop. So I am working on making changes so that when I do stop taking anti-depressants I’ll still be the positive me.

I’m also seeing a therapist with an interest in mindfulness, something which I want to work on, and I’m looking forward to that. To be honest I am also just looking forward to talking to someone who I can trust and share everything with but I want to share it with you too. I emailed the therapist before we met saying:

“My problems include (but are not limited!) to depression, low self esteem, addiction, perfectionism and lack of focus. Also, the GP put me on anti-depressants and everything is masked right now.”

3. Don’t dwell, move forward and turn the negatives into positives

So those are my secrets, the skeletons I’m letting out of my cupboard to cleanse my soul. Now you know the worst things about me although none of the gory details which I still hope to cover in my memoir.

I don’t plan to bore you with the details of my treatment but I want to assure all of you who are concerned, have left comments or emailed me that I am being looked after and, more importantly, I’m looking after myself. And I’m hoping that I can start writing more of the upbeat, inspiring posts I want to share here and that they will come from the heart. But I’m also giving myself permission to be real and to share even when I am not feeling positive.

I dearly hope you will stick with me through this journey and that I can be a living example of some things I want my kids to know.

We all have secrets, we’ve all done things that we’re ashamed of. We all live in fear of being judged by others but keeping secrets only makes things worse. Being real with yourself and with other people is the only way to live fully.

Secrets lose their power once shared and become stories. Stories we can learn from and grow with, stories that remind us that everyone makes mistakes and that the greatest power we have is our inborn ability to grow and transform into something better every single day.

With that in mind I’ve created a new slogan for Get In the Hot Spot:

Advanced adventures for body and soul.

I want to cover travel, wellbeing and personal development for people who may be getting older but never want to be boring. If you’d like to join me in rebranding the term “old bores” into advanced adventurers stick around.

Like the best people Get In the Hot Spot is constantly evolving and one of the big things that makes this blogging journey truly great is you.

Do you find it hard or easy to tell people the truth about yourself?

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It’s 100% free, fun and designed to make you feel fabulous. Take 10 seconds to subscribe now and get secret content which you can’t read on the blog direct to your email box every Sunday as well as links to the hottest posts.

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine White April 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Hi Annabel

Nietzsche said, “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

But whose illusions? Theirs or our illusions of ourselves, that we think they hold of us?

I don’t believe we need to reveal every little sordid detail about ourselves, but it is important to be authentic; to be real with people. These difficulties and challenges that assail us all are no judgment on our character.

There are risks though. Letting others know we are hurting or suffering takes courage, but it takes an equal amount of courage to hear this from someone else, as it then falls on us to either listen, or quietly turn away.

In my own experience, being not heard can hurt, raising questions about relationships, or doubts about our own judgement.

The risks outweigh the possibility of hurt of disappointment, as some time or other, we all need to come out of our cave, otherwise we are condemned to a lifetime of isolation.

All the best on your journey Annabel, no doubt you’ve calculated the risks, and stepped out of the cave into the sun. Just remember to wear sunscreen, as the sun too can burn.

Catherine

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Annabel Candy April 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hi Catherine,

What a great comment and quote. I have a lot to think about and thank you for the warning too.

I think this is such an interesting thought in the social media world we live in: “I don’t believe we need to reveal every little sordid detail about ourselves, but it is important to be authentic;”

I hope to spare you the details now I’ve got this out in the open. Thank you.

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Amanda Kendle April 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Annabel, a beautiful post, and if what you so beautifully describe as “patchy mental health” puts off some of your readers then they are readers you don’t want to have anyway. I hope it’s all onwards and upwards from here but of course life is never quite like that, but do take care of yourself. Best wishes from Perth.

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Annabel Candy April 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Hi Amanda,

So true. Thank you.

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Kama April 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Annabel I love your honesty and openness. This post will be beneficial for so many. I have also suffered from depression so I can very much relate to what you write.

My turning point was also to be an open book, to hide nothing and to be true to me. In order to do that I had to first rediscover who “me” was. I thought I knew, but I didn’t. I rediscovered me through mindfulness which is one of the reasons why I now work with people who want to do the same.

You are on the right path Annabel and before you know it you will be off the antidepressants and enjoying life to the fullest without. Thank you for being brave enough to admit taking medication to get you started. Sometimes we need a kick start and there is nothing wrong with that. xx

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Annabel Candy April 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Hi Kama,

Thank you too, I’m looking forward to following in your mindful footsteps :)

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Cheryl from BusiChic April 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Big hugs and lots of respect for writing this post. Maybe not everyone will agree with me but I liken mental health to physical health; something that we all have issues with from time-to-time. I hope that you give yourself the time to look after yourself and that sponsors etc appreciate the strength of connection that you have with your readers. You are awesome xx

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you so much. I agree with you that everyone is affected in some way so it’s sad we (well me anyway!) find it hard to talk about :)

You’re awesome too :)

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Chartreuse April 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Best of luck in your current travels – which are much harder than any other trip you’ve taken. And thanks for sharing. Personally, you revealing yourself in this way is the kind of thing I like best in your blog.

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

Hi Chartreuse,

Thanks for the thoughts and feedback. Your new profile pic is fun too.

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Jade Craven April 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm

So, so glad that the meds are working for you. I’ve noticed lately that I’m feeling more like ‘me’ then I have in about 7 years and it is so awesome to have your mojo back.

I’m reading a book about anxiety by this lady: http://www.margaretwehrenberg.com/products-page/ who also has a similar guide to depression. It has been so helpful to learn about the chemistry :) People can accomplish so much more if we talk about the exact things we’ve used to get better – if I had known what I do now, I would never have gotten this sick.

Hoping you continue to improve,

Jade

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Jade,

Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out. I know some things work for some and not for others so the more we talk about what helped us the faster other people will be able to find solutions.

You make a great point about helping yourself and early detection there too.

I like to think we are all improving although it’s definitely not linear :)

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Ray @stingytraveller April 23, 2013 at 6:56 am

Authenticity is always the best option, especially for bloggers! Thanks for sharing your true honest state of being. Hope all goes uphill from here!

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Ray,

Gracias :)

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Sandra Pawula April 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

Annabel, I love you just the same. We all have challenges in life, these are just yours. I think special genetics create the possibility of several of these challenges co-occurring together.

I think I’m quite authentic on my blog, but I also agree with Catherine that it’s not necessary to reveal every detail of our life. I do sometimes worry though that I may sound like I have it all together on my blog, when I’m just struggling along like everyone else.

As always, you have your code of personal ethics and you live that on your blog. I think that’s why people are so drawn to your writing.

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Sandra,

I second what you say about: I do sometimes worry though that I may sound like I have it all together on my blog, when I’m just struggling along like everyone else.

I think it’s a hard line to walk between being positive and inspiring to others and being real because as you say we all have our struggles.

I really appreciate your support.

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Kylee at boomerang jane April 23, 2013 at 11:56 am

I’ve only discovered your blog this past few weeks, but loved the 52wk exercise adventure I’ve gone back & read them all. You’ve been inspiring & I love the new focus (I’m 45 & don’t want to conform to society’s ideals about getting slower & quieter). My favourite blogs are always the ones the are real. I almost get turned off by ‘perfect’ because its so far from my own truth. I am definitely here for the long haul with you. Thanks for sharing! :-) xx

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Annabel Candy April 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Hi Kylee,

Hey, that’s great news and we are the same age too. Must have been a good vintage :) I’m looking forward to getting to know you better too.

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Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel April 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Hello Annabel, I think that in lots of ways you can appeal to people more and maybe on a deeper level. Life is all ups and downs and readers know that and can relate. I can!! Don’t you go off that cip-whatever too fast – at least six months says Dr Seana. I stopped in January with same drug after about four years. It IS good not to have to remember to take the pill, but I really do need to be highly self aware.

Am so enjoying the slow life here with my Mum and just the two bairns, it’s refreshing, and I see how important that extended family is. An aged uncle is on the agenda today. Keep blogging and, last thought, you’ve been funny even when you think you weren’t.

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Annabel Candy April 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

Hi Seana,

Thank you so much for sharing your story and for letting me know you’ve found some funny bits here despite everything. I want to be funny most of all!

Enjoy that time in your homeland catching up with old friends and all the dotty old rellies :)

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Linda ~ Journey Jottings April 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Your readers love you Annabel because you keep it real!
You say it how it is :)
Who wants to follow a ‘Truman Show’ blog that’s all permanently chocolate box smiles – The real world is all about the downs as well as the ups –

From an artist’s perspective, the art of a good painting is to have contrast – you need highlights against the dark to make the subject come to life ;)

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Annabel Candy April 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hi Linda,

That’s a great analogy. Thanks for reading and commenting on my art :) I wish I could paint but writing’s my creative outlet so I’m very glad I have a place to share it here.

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Sue April 29, 2013 at 4:24 am

Dear Annabel,

I commend you for your courage in choosing to disclose what you’re experiencing right now. It’s a challenging place to be in, but know that you’re not alone there, as you’ve seen from the comments. It’s ridiculous that individuals are made to feel ashamed if their emotional well-being is suffering when we wouldn’t judge ourselves or others for being stricken by a physical dis-ease. I’m glad to hear that in addition to taking the meds, you are also looking at long term lifestyle changes that will strengthen your resiliency to the ups and downs of life.

As part of taking care of yourself, I’d encourage you to remember it’s that you are always in the position to decide how much information you want to share with your readers: not from a place of fearing that you’ll bore them with the details, but rather from a place checking in with your self about whether it feels too vulnerable or too private to share certain details with your readers. Do what feeds your soul and self-esteem/self- confidence.

I love the new direction (and title? or subtitle?) for the blog–Advanced Adventures for Body and Soul. The alliteration at the beginning is brilliant! Take care and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

Bright blessings & lots of hugs,
Sue

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Annabel Candy April 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi Sue,

Thank you for the great advice, blessings , hugs and mutual love of a little alliteration :)

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Barbara May 1, 2013 at 1:21 am

Annabel, I know how difficult this has been for you and I feel your pain. I’m glad you gave in to the drugs, because you can’t make the best decisions from a place of darkness. Now working with your therapist will be more productive.

We all have things we keep to ourselves. The irony is they are often our doing in. It’s good to bring things out into the light and air them out, whether we share that piece of ourselves with everyone else or not. I hope this is helping you because I know you are helping others by speaking your truth.
love,
Barbara

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Molly May 21, 2013 at 1:28 am

I just came to your site today and thought this post was so refreshingly honest and insightful, if that doesn’t help your brand then maybe it’s time to alter it a bit! I’ve suffered serious depressions in the past, yet have been fortunate to do pretty well in my 30s and 40s – it’s not something anyone can control, or anyone’s fault, simply a fact of life that I think most of us struggle with at some point to some degree. Kudos to you for reaching out to your readers, and sharing your experiences in such a courageous way.

best, Molly from Oregon USA

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Annabel Candy May 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hi Molly,

Great to see you here and thank you for the fab feedback :)

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Miranda May 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

Annabel,

I love this – Advanced adventures for body and soul.

We all go through something in life that we don’t want to talk about, and yet we have to, and as writers we choose to embrace and use our words to say what many won’t, and in doing that magic happens somewhere. Whether for ourselves or someone else.

Everyone has a story to tell. For me travel is for my mind, body and soul. It soothes, inspires, and keeps you humble and in search of more.

Thank you for sharing your story, and your blog.

Miranda

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