Living with ADHD, Substance Use Disorder, Depression and Anxiety

Although his relationships and career were impacted by his mental health challenges, Edwin Mburu knows that his journey is one of progress, not perfection. He says, “The differences others see are strengths that if well tapped into can be a source of creativity.” Now Edwin aims to lend a helping hand to others who may be struggling like he was. He says success is “being able to share, inspire and act in my community with a positive touch.”

Edwin’s Story

Briefly, how has your condition impacted your life? When were you first aware of it?  What was your most difficult time? 

My mental health condition has had major impacts on my relationships, both socially and professionally. I can say I never got to enjoy part of my youth like my fellow peers. When I was first diagnosed in 2015, I was in total denial especially when the psychiatrist mentioned mental health. It was a taboo topic for me at that particular time.

My most difficult time was 2011 when I attempted suicide and the reaction from those around me at the time was negative to say the least. Revisiting the same issue during therapy was quite hard for me too because I had to accept and deal with the raw emotions for me to move forward.

What is your life like now? What does living well look like for you?

I am happy and enjoy peace of mind. Success is being able to raise and provide for my family. Being able to lend a helping hand to another person who may be struggling like I was. Being able to share, inspire and act in my community with a positive touch.

Success is joining such a network with the sole aim of brightening someone else’s life.

What do you do to manage your condition and stay healthy on an ongoing basis?

  • Exercising
  • Enjoying nature
  • Medication, psychotherapy
  • Being active in my support systems
  • Self-acceptance and self-awareness
  • Spending quality time with family and friends

Are there positives that have come from having a mental health condition? If so, what?

I can say after dealing with denial, I have managed to tap into the hyper-focus of ADHD.

How has your condition impacted your work and your career? 

Having been diagnosed at 30, the conditions definitely slowed my career progression.

Pursuing further studies became problematic before diagnosis.

Before receiving my diagnosis I never got to pinpoint what seemed off about me and how I worked, but after receiving my diagnosis I have come to accept myself as I am. I acknowledge that the differences others see are strengths that if well tapped into can be a source of creativity.

I have struggled to feel supported with managing my mental health conditions in the workplace. I choose to advocate so that I and others can access the necessary support we need from our employers to thrive at work.

What words of encouragement would you give to someone struggling with a condition similar to yours?

There is hope. There is help. Being different is not bad at all. Self-acceptance and self-awareness are key in starting any recovery journey.

Surround yourself with people like you, learn about your condition and take it a day a time.

Progress not perfection.

What motivated you to join The Stability Network? What do you hope to get from it?

  • Inspire other professionals not to hide from their mental health experiences
  • Change the narrative on stigma at the workplace
  • Learn from those who have been before me
  • Mentorship