I once dated a guy who told me straight to my face, "You know, it's good that you're a little overweight- you'll be a more empathic counselor for overweight individuals because you know firsthand what it's like." Since then, I've shed that person from my life, as well as those unwanted pounds, but sometimes those words will still echo in my head. Underneath the initial sting, I believe his message was true- we can more effectively guide people to the other side once we've walked through it ourselves.
Even as writers, it's our responsibility to get people to the other side- to the other side of fear and judgement, and step into a place of ease and openness. But this can only happen when we're willing to share our own stories and walk on that bridge, over the river of despair, step by step. If we all stay silent, we all stay paralyzed and isolated.
So don't discount your dark experiences. Talk about them, share them, use them as supporting wooden planks that create that avenue of connection, holding our weight and acting as a bridge to bring us back to ourselves and to each other.