November 14, 2018

Vulnerability. Truth. Authenticity. Honesty.

These words and the meanings behind these words are missing from today’s world. With all that is going on today, we need these as much as possible. We need to stand up.

I personally strive hard to be strong for my patients, family, and friends, but I recently hit a mile marker that challenged me to the core. I shared this experience on my Facebook:

  • “Hello all, I do not usually post on FB for very personal things but I wanted to share. Just in the past few days, I was involved in a major car accident which if it weren't for the side airbags and seat belt, I probably would have been a lot worse off physically. I have been checked out and nothing has been broken or severely damaged, just minor aches and bruises, thank goodness. For those of you who have seen the pictures, you wouldn't have believed I walked out. In addition, I also have decided to end a personal relationship that was not serving the both of us in the most healthy manner. It was a very difficult decision and has been weighing heavy on my heart for some time. After all this, I had some time to reflect and for those who know me personally know, I like to understand why certain things happen. This past week, I went through depression, heartache, loneliness, and sadness.
  • The reason I share this is because I wanted to acknowledge those who have reached out to me and listened and supported me. Thank you to you all, you know who you are. I wanted to share because mental health is very important and happens to every one of us (men and female) no matter what we appear like on the surface. I recognize that there is a lot of chaotic things happening in our country and around the world and want to emphasize how vital and essential it is to maintain the solid relationships that we have because in life when we pass on it is the memories and experiences that we can essentially take with us, not things. I had acknowledged people in my past for my successes but also want to reinforce that we need to acknowledge our lows as well. After all, we are human, we are the totality of our light and dark sides.
  • So, here's to mental and emotional well being and continued practice of being WELL. I love you guys.”

I felt very embarrassed about doing this, I am not going to lie. What I did not anticipate was an outpouring of love and support from so many. Personally, I felt Facebook is an odd place to share this kind of message, however with billions of people on social media and “friends” using it nowadays, it is about reaching those who may benefit from shared vulnerabilities, not just celebrating our highs. My hope is to let others know that even people you look up to… are human too.

So speak up, share, listen, be patient, practice kindness even if you do not agree.

The #Movember movement is to magnify men’s health in terms of not just physical health, but also emotional and mental. It is not spoken enough of.

Check out my alma mater’s blog feature here:

Much Love,

- Zhu

Dr. Colin Zhu is a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician and plant-based chef and is the author of the new book:Thrive Medicine: How to Cultivate Your Desires and Elevate Your Life,now on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.