On Saturday, July 22, 2017, DC and the world lost a great man. Longtime and beloved NBC4 reporter and anchor Jim Vance passed away after a battle with cancer. I was on the air at the time word came out and I couldn’t hold back the tears as I shared the sad news with our listeners.
All week afterward, I felt heartbroken...cried alot…and really couldn’t understand quite why I was so moved by Jim. Why I felt so connected to him. I didn’t know him...never met him. But as I watched Channel 4’s tribute to him this past Friday night, it all made sense.
I had no idea that Jim had low self-esteem and battled depression. A man so full of laughter and life. A man who exuded confidence and strength. Who would have guessed? Some might think the same about me. Outwardly, I am bubbly and laugh alot…but on the inside, I struggle. I have lifelong issues that to this day haunt me. Like Jim, my sense of self-worth is almost nonexistent.
Jim said during an interview a few years ago with his co-anchor and dear friend Doreen Gentzler, “For a long period of time, I considered myself a mistake”.
I’ve also felt that way often throughout my life.
Jim added that he felt like his existence on this earth was an aberration.
Me, too, Jim.
It clicked as I watched the tribute: we were kindred spirits.
I have been through a few bouts of severe depression and thankfully, I have been able to fight my way through the dark times. And it’s true that sadly, there is still a stigma attached to mental health issues. It doesn’t get talked about nearly enough, and I myself have been “embarrassed” to admit that I have issues…that I am not perfect. Growing up, it was instilled in me that I HAD TO BE PERFECT. But after watching Jim, I became inspired to share my story. Like him, if I can help even one person, it’s worth it and just so necessary.
I talk to a counselor and I use essential oils to boost my mood and keep me feeling balanced. And there are of course so many other resources available.
I really want to stress this: if you (or someone you know) are struggling…you are NOT alone.
You are valuable. You are worthy. You are loved. And it’s OKAY to ask for help.