MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A familiar face to many KEYC viewers returns to the Mankato community, but this time he is not telling other people’s stories, he’s telling his own.
“Right out of college, my first job was Weekend Anchor at KEYC. I remember it was the most exciting thing ever,” said Bryan Piatt.
Piatt’s career took him to the Austin-Rochester market, and then to KARE 11.
On-screen Piatt was a confident, put together professional, but what we didn’t see is what was going on inside Bryan’s mind at the time: panic, anxiety and compulsions that he learned to mask so well.
“It’s hard to verbalize because it’s been such a journey," explained Piatt. "About a year ago, I hit a point where I couldn’t do the thing of stepping in front of the camera anymore. My anxiety was bad, panic attacks in the studio on a pretty regular basis.”
And while this was happening to Piatt on the inside, it never showed on the outside.
“That’s the scary thing about mental health, in general, is you get really good at masking it. We have a really unique job, so I can watch it to see what it looked like from outside looking in and I can’t tell you the number of times I would watch a show back and I would think, I know what feeling on inside there complete panic, but you’d never guessed,” described Piatt.
He could finally see what others saw and his life started coming into focus.
"It's hard to reach out and you're kind of waiting for somebody to notice that you are having a hard time, but you are projecting to the world a very pulled together version of yourself."
The realization empowered Piatt, and instead of telling other people’s stories, he started telling his own.
“It’s been a huge piece in my recovery and my journey," Piatt said. "I think my message is to people I think is that it’s okay to struggle. If this whole thing of opening up has taught me one thing it is that there are a lot of people out there struggling with a lot things mental health or not and so many of us feel like we’re the only ones feeling like there’s something wrong with you and that is just not the case.”
You can hear more from Piatt’s journey when he brings his story to Indigo Organic at 6 p.m. in Mankato on Monday, Nov. 11.
The event, which is free to the public, is part of Indigo Organic’s Feed Your Mind Series.