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Deconstructing Stigma: Helping Yourself and Others

 

Those issues started when I was a kid. Growing up in a quiet, picture-perfect New England town, my expressive style made it difficult to fit in. I spent the bulk of my childhood dedicated to ballet—an escape that allowed me to get out of my head, which always seemed to be racing. I would perform in “The Nutcracker” at the end of each year. But, after the bustle of the holiday season, the long, bleak winters would lull me into deep depression, because ballet is all about the illusion of perfection, and outside of that world, perfection is unattainable. In my teens, I sometimes had suicidal thoughts stemming from these unrealistic expectations. Drugs and alcohol took the edge off the depression and anxiety.

 

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