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Imagine waking up with no will to do anything. It’s been one of those nights, weeks or months in which everything has accumulated to make you feel heavy. The idea of getting out of bed seems impossible. But somehow you manage to get up, brush your teeth, throw on something resembling professional and put one foot in front of the other until you’re in front of your computer at work.

But then the tears come. Before you know it, you’re being summoned into your boss’s office.

But there’s no human connection -- no “Are you ok?” or “How can I help?” Instead, feelings were met with a cold, hard wall of decorum that felt more isolating than any cubicle dividers. Even though we didn't have cubicle dividers, because the bosses opted for the “collaborative community vibe” an open space office provides. The irony…

It was this scenario, plus a couple broken hearts and a need for creative expression, that inspired The Sad Collective (also on Facebook, and Instagram) nearly five years ago. A colleague and I were Fed Up. But instead of wallowing, we channeled our feelings into creating a space for ourselves that might resonate with others.

That online community has led to an incredible journey of self-discovery, mobilization, community and (most importantly) change. Having been deeply engaged in the mental health community since then, I’ve witnessed the strides made to destigmatize mental health struggles, bring awareness to the challenges and offer help to those who are struggling.

The Sad Collective brings attention to these changes. It shares people’s stories, showing our community and the world that it is okay not to be okay.

There is power in vulnerability. There is power in sharing. This power is rooted in connection and that is what our collective is all about at the end of the day. We’re not meant to do life alone. We’re all in this together.

If you’re sad, please check out The Sad Collective. If you’re feeling suicidal, get connected and get help from 211.

#thesadcollective #menthalhealth #health