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Safe Space | One Model One Story

Marco. From the United States, has been living in Beijing for several years. He is working in business development, plays in multiple bands, and is an active supporter of mental health initiatives. He began as a support group attendee and later joined CandleX as a valuable volunteer who does community awareness events. Sharing your feelings with others does open many new opportunities in life.

Name: Marco Brun del Re

Country of Origin: The United States

Time in Beijing: 2008-2017

Occupation: Business Development

Safe Space

Superficiality is all around us. The world seems to be all about winning. If we post something on social media that alludes to our struggles, we are criticized for being drama kings and queens, seeking for attention. The pull is to show only the good parts of life – but that is a very flat way of looking at the human experience. Life is not just about being happy. There is a full range of emotions and tensions and everything in between.

We have no idea what people go through most times. I can only truly know my own experiences, the pitch-dark depression, and the out of breath mania. My smiles could be hiding a deeper agony.

It is a huge risk to take to open up, to be honest, to be direct, and yet, this is what is needed. A space to engage with people on a deeper level of understanding, in compassion and in suffering.

We could be empathetic and listen, but perhaps another way is to first open up with our experiences. Quickly, we find allies who know what it feels like and people who have been through the suffering and can relate.

Sharing my pain was actually less of a focus on myself, but more on constructing a channel for others to express their similar pains. It creates a safe space to communicate without being judged. We are connected and can trust one another to hold each other’s backs.

It is simply a place to talk, to connect, to share, and to encourage each other to soldier on.

We can be the ones to create this safe space.


Once again, we are bringing you another heart-touching story and a photo as part of the “One Model One Story” series on bipolar disorder. By sharing the brave experiences of our community, we will help the people affected by mental health issues become more open about their own feelings and improve the understanding of these, in reality widespread, problems among the society.

The fundraiser continues for the photo-album, which will be the most important result of the Moodlab Project. This book will feature all the photos and stories of the models, in addition to key facts about the bipolar disorder. We appreciate any amount of money given. You can donate by scanning the QR code below.

English QR

English QR

Chinese QR

Our partner from Bearapy (Founder: Enoch Li) is the magic behind the “One Model One Story” series. She conducted interviews with the models and created a heart-touching narrative from their words and experiences. You can follow Bearapy by scanning the QR code below.

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