Bell Let’s Talk donation kicks off fundraising campaign Revivre, a leader in the field of mental health, is going digital with the launch of virtual services to help meet growing demand for mental health support Read More
Revivre’s support groups are now available online for anyone living with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Revivre’s free virtual support groups [in French] will allow us to offer you support at home, wherever you are. Read More
The National Bank has donated $500,000 to ten Canadian organizations dedicated to the cause of mental health and Revivre is among the beneficiaries. "Mental health disorders pose a major societal challenge and organizations working in the field are essential," Read More
Journalist Pierre Craig joins actress Véronique Bannon and singer-songwriter Stefie Shock as a spokesperson for Revivre. Having worked in journalism since 1976, Pierre was also Chairman of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec from 2013 to 2015. For the first time, Pierre is speaking openly about his panic disorder.
I’ve always been afraid. Afraid of not being able to do something, of not being up to whatever I tried, of speaking in front of people... afraid of standing out, basically.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but there was a moment in my life where I had to make a choice. I had to decide whether I would let fear control my life or whether I was going to charge head first. I was actually being offered, without having applied for it, the position of host for the Radio-Canada radio show I worked on in Québec. I chose to go for it. It sounds heroic now, but if I had let fear control my life... I would’ve died inside. I’m proud of my courage. I’ve always been afraid, but I’ve also always gone for it—almost always.
But a bit over 15 years ago, when I had my first panic attack on live TV, all my courage and all my strength (and believe me, I have a lot) were completely useless. I was fainting on the air. I fought with all my strength, all my willpower, but the more I struggled, the more that “thing” crushed me. I lived through it somehow, but my self-confidence was damaged. I had more panic attacks on live radio. I almost couldn’t speak anymore, I was out of breath, my lungs were empty.
Another fear manifested then—a terrifying one. The fear that this would happen again, that I would collapse in front of everyone. And I couldn’t do anything about it. At one point, I had to go accept an award for La Facture at the National Assembly. That was one of the most horrible weeks of my life. I was headed to the slaughterhouse... I was going to fall into disgrace in front of everyone. I got through it without an attack.
That’s when I decided to go get help. I met with a psychologist, and she helped me accept that you couldn’t defeat this “thing,” but you could learn to live with it. The trick she taught me is that instead of fighting against the rising anxiety attack, you simply had to accept it without resisting. This is easier said than done! Since then, I’ve been living with it. It’s still there, much less terrifying, but still stressful. But I live a good life.
Seek out help. If you have the strength, tell the people around you. Believe me, it doesn’t push people away; it brings them closer to you. And if this “thing” is so strong that you aren’t able to ask for help right now, don’t be hard on yourself. All of us are just little human beings. There are many things much stronger than us.
(photo : Jean Bernier)
Every year, Revivre supports thousands of people in regaining hope and reaching recovery. As such, I am very proud to be spokesperson for the organization.