Inside thomson reuters
Choosing vulnerability and conversation at work for my mental health
Kristen, Manager, Recruiting Operations & Enablement
Vulnerability is hard.
I was recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Honestly, sometimes even saying it can feel overwhelming. For the longest time, I wondered what was wrong with me. Why was I not happy like the people around me in my personal and professional life? Why was I feeling so overwhelmed every time I took on an additional task at work or had an extra errand to run on the weekend? I turned to therapy shortly after getting this diagnosis and it has helped me tremendously to know that I am not alone — and I have people in my corner to help me.
I have learned that admitting I struggle to people who sometimes “look up to me” made me more approachable and it opened lines of communication that were not there before. Sharing this with my team made it more comfortable to talk to me about their struggles, which made both of us feel better. These conversations are important because they help normalize topics often seen as taboo, scary, or intimidating. We often hide our vulnerabilities, but it is critical to share and have these conversations; they help create meaningful change and can make a difference in someone's life.
Thomson Reuters has helped me navigate my mental health with direct support from higher-level leaders, which has trickled down to my direct leaders and team members. #WorkingAtTR and having a leadership team around me that encourages me to be open about how I am feeling on the good and bad days has helped me realize it is okay to not be okay every day.
It has opened channels of communication with my manager to help him understand that my “mood” may be off today because of this. It has opened channels with my direct reports to know they can come to me if they don’t feel okay because they know I will support them through it, or anything else for that matter. It has made me realize that as much as I want to be there for everyone, I need people to be there for me, too. Most of all, I’ve learned that people want to be there for me.
Some days I will feel sad or overwhelmed but I recognize those are symptoms of this diagnosis and are not direct depictions of who I am as a wife, boss, dog mom, friend, employee, or any other role I lead.
It starts with a conversation and it may not be easy, but it is so worth it to have.