Today I was reading the latest blogs on Chipur, a leading mental health website when my heart broke. A guest blog by Mental Minds titled “No matter who I see or what I take, I still feel like crap” was the culprit.
I have previously shared (elsewhere) about my own journey towards mental health. I want to share here: I have also written a guest blog for Chipur about my experience of depression as a teenager and a young adult. Re-reading it today, I was surprised at how top-level and un-messy an experience it conveys. In reality, this is as messy an experience as there ever was!
Mental Minds’s post reminded me that my own stories went deep. They were tangled up in my self-worth. I had control issues around food. I dieted needlessly, and binged out to numb myself. The dieting made me high – it was my only real high.
I self-harmed – this created more distance between myself and everyone else. It was addictive and made me hate myself.
I felt isolated and left-behind by my more successful and social acquaintances. I approached any social event with a sense of impending doom. Any mistake or faux pas I made would echo back to me later that night, ten-fold. I was all awkwardness, all liability, all the time. I had to double down and manage myself. How could fun ever exist in that place? My only fun was being curled up with a good book, alone.
My forte is being that support for other people – I can reassure the socks off anybody that their suffering, what they cannot be with in themselves, is absolutely normal, human and a result of a story that is not serving them.
And in other people’s bold shares I can see myself. Thank you, Mental Minds, and everyone who has shared boldly with me.
Regardless of how biological we consider our pain, our problems and issues – I have heard it said countless times that depression is “caused by genetics or neurotransmitters or something else I cannot control” as a fundamental denial of personal, social and spiritual factors – I want us to consider that there is nothing wrong with us if we are depressed. Or anxious. Or different.
There is nothing wrong with you or me.
It is normal to have a weird, uncomfortable relationship with our feelings. It’s normal to want to try to fix everything, to think that we are wrong or broken. That is normal. It is normal to concoct crazy stories all the time to try to explain why we are the way we are. It’s normal to look at what isn’t working for us, not what IS working, and to flagellate ourselves as a way to fix it. Many high-functioning people do this, in fact.
It’s normal to create a story that has us be a victim all the time.
Normal will keep us alive.
But if we want to thrive, we will want to go beyond the stories. We will need to move away from making ourselves wrong and broken. We will need to accept and own our emotions in a way we never learned as children. We will need to connect with each other wholeheartedly and share boldly.
Ultimately, I want to leave a legacy of complete mindset shift in everyone. I want to empower people to create the conditions that will have them thrive.
My mission is to:
- Coach people wholeheartedly to connect with their greatness (and move beyond normal/survival)
- Create a movement that uses connection and emotional awareness as an antidote to depression.
Last but not least, here is my guest blog on Chipur – consider it my story about my stories.