Kevin Kline (b | t) is hosting T-SQL Tuesday this month and it is to “Tell us the story of how attending an IT conference or event resulted in an amazing career or life opportunity.” I have previously blogged on the topic of mentoring the community and how much I’ve gotten out of that here and my contributions back here.
As part of Kevin’s post, an idea he has to blog about is “Did you connect with a new group of friends who are now a constant part of your life?” This resonates with me. Over the course of my speaking career since 2015 I believe, and I have developed some strong friendships with several #SQLFamily community members. As many know, I have mental health issues in the form of bipolar II and I’ve spoken on this at several events, if you have not seen the presentations, you can go to the presentations page and watch it.
I’ve literally got friends all over the world now that I can contact when I’m having not just a bad day but let’s be honest suicidal thoughts and they can either talk me down or remind me you know you have a therapist and a doctor you can call. Yes, I forget those things when melting down. And because they are all over the world, they are available on the nights I can sleep across all the time zones.
Not only are people available for that. #SQLFamily is there to remind me that I am a strong person who has overcome a lot of obstacles in life, from a very abusive, traumatic childhood, to not so good start in adulthood, to have managed to build a career can be proud of. Yes, I need to be reminded that I’m not a screwup. Just Monday, before this T-SQL Tuesday invite came out, I was talking to one such member of the community telling them I was just a screwup, and they told me they didn’t view me as a screwup. I’ve deemed this person a long time ago my SQL hero and the fact I can even have a conversation with this person, let alone a personal one means a lot to me.
When I was in the mental hospital, I had several #SQLFamily members on my call list I could call and talk to again when I thought I had done the ultimate screw up and nope they would reassure me I had done what is right and taken care of myself.
Not only that they sure up my decisions just with everyday things that are just plain hard and decisions about my career changes. Ever need a friend to help you talk through things? I have those in #SQLFamily. Honestly, I don’t have those types of friends outside of #SQLFamily that are as understanding.
Quite honestly if you get involved in #SQLFamily you will find some awesome people, thank you to all of you. You know how you are, there are way too many of you to mention. And thank you to the boss (Brian Carrig) that I feel like tricked me into giving my first SQL Saturday presentation because I had no awareness that he was on the speaker selection committee and that I was just going to be an automatic selection. Thanks to everyone that has seen my mental health presentation and gotten something out of it and given me positive feedback (not that one person in Austin, that almost made me stop giving it). You all keep me sane, and I can’t ask for a better family than that.
The post T-SQL Tuesday #153: The Thing That Changed Everything for Me – SQLFamily first appeared on Tracy Boggiano's Blog.