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There is such power in sharing a personal story. Most people think I am an extrovert, but I am actually an introvert. I don’t share many personal stories unless I know someone very closely. So, I am always amazed at the bravery of people who do this for the benefit of others. I simply do not have the courage most times to be vulnerable. Feeling vulnerable is not a feeling I like.

But, I do like to feel authentic. Recently, I have found that more of my women friends are becoming comfortable talking about bouts of depression. Saying I have experienced depression in the past was the equivalent of saying that I was weak. For anyone who has dealt with depression, and truthfully who hasn’t, you know that getting up and taking on the day while depressed is the opposite of weak – it is the stuff of warriors.

My problem with talking about depression is that there is nothing in my life that ever created it. I had fabulous parents, a carefree childhood, and stable adulthood. It is not situational. It is chemical and can come out of the blue for no apparent reason. It might stay for a few days, weeks or months or disappear altogether for years. I thank God through it all that I have been able to carry on with my life and find a way through it. I know that many are not that lucky. In today’s Pleasanton Express Opinion page, Vanessa Anger shares a piece she wrote titled “From Darkness to Light.”

I first spoke to Vanessa after seeing her amazing videos with music for the Pleasanton Eagle’s football team. I called her to say she had a natural talent and if she ever wanted to produce videos for the Pleasanton Express that I would gladly hire her. Recently, she shared some posts about depression on her Facebook. I contacted her once again because her writing was beautiful and brave.

Glenda Thompson, a writer, is also bold and brave and is the author of a series on autism on our Opinion page. She writes from a Grandma Bear perspective. Her writing is golden. Make sure and read her column in this week’s Pleasanton Express titled, “D is for Different (Not Less).” Her title is my lesson for today as I write this column. I am different because I sometimes suffer from depression. But, I am certainly not less because of it.

NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may E-mail her at nwilkersonholmes@pleasantonexpress.com.

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