Hi guys, I am a little overwhelmed at the outpouring of support for my post but so, so grateful for it. I am feeling the love, so thank you, its the most beautiful thing about social media. To be clear, I am not a ‘success story’ and I don’t expect I’ll just live happily-ever-after. But it is a story of triumph because I feel like after many attempts and slipping back several times, I’ve finally pulled myself out of the darkness and onto the first rung. I am also feeling pretty good and happy with where I’m at, the pain is no longer fresh for me (even though its news to most everyone else), and I am very much healing.
Why share all this now? One of the reasons I didn’t talk about it while flailing in the deep end was because I feared it would put the reputation of my business at stake and risk harming those that depend on me financially. In hindsight I think it was just the depression talking and if we did this more in our society we would have stronger leaders and gain compassion from our coworkers. I also am way to full of pride and independence for my own good. As the oldest child, the ‘organized one,’ and occasionally Type A, I’m the one who solves problems for others, and am not comfortable being on the receiving end. But we all need it sometimes and everytime I’ve asked for it, I’ve received and been better for it.
Since I announced the blog post I have had dozens of notes from people currently feeling lost, those with family members struggling, and many with their own history of depression. Our book club read The Book of Joy last month and along with our CreativeMornings talk I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion and how to exercise it when the world feel so chaotic and out of control. The thing they all say is to start where you are. So I’m here, and putting myself out there in the hopes that it can help someone get the help they need. If you’re lost and don’t know what to do, please talk to your friends, family, get therapy or go to your doctor if nothing else is working. Reach out to me, I will listen and offer the best support that I can. If you know someone who is clearly depressed, find a quiet moment with them and talk about it. They may just need you to listen, or they may need you to pick up the phone and and even book a therapy appointment (with their permission of course). Taking the first step can be huge and daunting for someone in the depths of it all and they might not know where to start. I’ll also add that if someone is at risk of hurting themselves or others don’t mess around with that shit and assume they are very serious. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Be the One To are resources for what to do.
I am not magically out of the woods and cured. This is a life long process and I just hope I can build a plan to avoid falling into it again. I’m being easy on myself but also committing to meditation and slowly moving more to keep my brain and body healthy because I know its the first line of defense. I went to a yoga class at a new-to-me studio in my neighborhood to start waking up my poor muscles and reconnect with my body. I’m also putting myself out there (obvi) in the community, and following through with lots of coffee dates and great conversations with old and new friends.
I am not an expert on anything, but here are some things that have been relevant to me lately.
- Meditation is exercise for the brain and a few minutes a day is wildly beneficial and I’m committed to making it a daily practice. I always say 10 minutes is equivalent to an hour nap without the fog. I have had success with Headspace, Deepak Chopra and Oprah have another free 21 day series coming up (the last one was fantastic), and although I haven’t tried it, I love the idea of a daily coach.
- The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Like I said, we read this in my book club and although repetitive at times, they gave some insight and examples on how to be joyful, despite hardship.
- I’ve had the most questions asking for a referral to my intuitive. Susan Lustenberger saved my life and I can’t recommend her enough. She can work in person or remotely (she is based in the Bay Area), and my most impactful sessions with her have been over the phone. She is truly a beautiful person inside and out and has a huge gift to share.
- I recently found the podcast Terrible Thanks for Asking and am currently obsessed. They delve into stories of pain and loss by sharing and creating human connection around topics that are often unfortunately taboo. I’ve linked to an episode on extreme postpartum depression but I’ve found them all eye-opening.
- Jen Gotch of Ban.do recently spoke on mental illness, along with having fun and self-compassion at CreativeMornings LA. Jen is a huge inspiration to me and is often sharing her depression, anxiety in a raw, vulnerable and hilarious way on Instagram.
- Plus, puppies. We bring home our puppy next week (its a boy!) and I am beyond excited and ready for a new little life in the house.
If you have any questions, or anything to share, I’m seriously all ears.