First official Blog post of the new site… so much pressure…
NOT! I’ve actually been really excited to start up again. I was incredibly stagnant in my creativity and writing the past few months.
Apparently I had a lot of planets in retrograde and that was supposedly slowing things down…Yep, that was it. And although I do believe in astrology, I think the truth of the matter was that my life was in a downward suck slide and it didn’t bode well for being able to focus on helping and inspiring other people.
Which brings me to the topic of the week… DEPRESSION. Because nobody really wants to talk openly about this. I mean, if someone you know is depressed, that’s one thing. We can talk all day about how badly we feel for them and all the reasons they have to be depressed and spout off all our opinions about what they should do to get themselves out of it…
Then there’s our own depression.
Yep. Our own. That’s harder right? To admit we are depressed about anything? Especially if we have a good life. Especially if we have a pretty great life. A great job, a loving family, good physical health. Maybe we even have some beautiful material things too. A cozy home, a reliable car, things surrounding us that bring us joy and make us feel good. So what’s there to be depressed about?
This was the case with me just a few months ago. Nothing in particular happened. Yet, 20 tiny things happened over time and started building up and as most of us do, we power through because we have things to do and lives to live and we don’t have time to sweat the small stuff going on.
In fact, some of that stuff is so insignificant and happening regularly that we are actually unconscious that it’s having any emotional effect on us at all.
Maybe your workload has increased and it’s been a bit more stressful at work. Maybe you recently had a falling out with a close friend. Maybe your marriage or relationship hasn’t been fulfilling for a long time and you’re starting to really feel it.
Whatever it is, we tend to push these things down as a normal part of life and power through. Because they don’t seem to be a big deal and we’ve been taught in our culture to “carry on”.
Until one day you’re going about your day as normal and you friggin’ LOSE YOUR SHIT. It starts as this kinda empty feeling in the pit of your stomach and then turns into this sorta anxious feeling in your chest area and you’re breathing starts to feel a little labored and constricted.
Then you realize you have a lump in your throat and you feel like you’re about to cry. But like… WTF is going on because you’re just driving to work listening to Drake sing about some vey rad “Hotline Bling”. And before you know it, you’ve gone from pretending you’re Beyonce singing with Drake to BALLING YOUR EYES OUT!
And you can’t stop.
So being we’re all extremely curious and wondering how this applies to me, I’ll get real with you…
That was me just 3 months ago.
I was on an upswing one moment…. Coming off a great New Years Retreat with Jen Pastiloff in Ojai, having met someone I really connected with and was excited to date and get to know more. I was feeling more comfortable in the role of being a single mom and feeling like I had a good system going now where before I was hanging on by a thread.
Then before I knew what was happening, I was feeling anxious, desperately lonely, isolated and immobilized. I went from loving my alone time to panicking on the drive home because all the sudden being alone felt so…. BLACK. I used to fill the nights my kids were with their dad with Yoga class or coaching clients or writing.
But all of the sudden my nights without my kids became something I dreaded. And so I started the downward spiral… This is how it went…
“I can’t believe I’m doing this alone. I’m always going to be alone. I’ll never have a real family again. My entire family is in NJ and I can’t be with them when I’m feeling like this. I met this great guy and he’s never here in LA and I feel even lonelier because he doesn’t seem to really be that invested in me anyway… which of course he isn’t because this is like…. a *really* good guy and he doesn’t want to take on dating a single mom with all this baggage when he can date a hot Tinder girl half my age…”
“I betcha right now at this very moment he’s trying to figure out how to let me down easy and get out of this because he feels sorry for me. And dammit – I don’t want people feeling sorry for me! I feel soooo isolated.!! I hate living so far away from everyone. I have no support out here. How did I end up here? WHEN WILL THIS GET EASIER?”
SPIRAL DOWN, SPIRAL DOWN, SPIRAL DOWN.
Sound familiar? Because you’re not alone. Depression happens. And we can’t be ashamed of if.
So this time around, here’s what I did when I went to that place…
~ I CALLED MY CLOSEST FRIENDS & ASKED FOR SUPPORT. I cried, I talked. I psycho-analyzed everything with them. I asked them to come over and be with me. I never used to do this. I would isolate and then pretend everything was fine. DON’T DO THIS. IT WON’T GET YOUR OUT OF THE DEPRESSION.
~ I CALLED MY MOM. And I actually admitted that I was depressed. Like, full on sob show revealing this horror to her. I try not to involve my family in my personal day to day dramas. It’s too hard for them when they are so far away. But I’ve learned over the years that more than anything they always want to be there to support me no matter what I’m going through. And just talking to my mom for like 15 minutes every day made all the difference in the world.
~ I MEDITATED, PRAYED & SURRENDERED IT. I knew these feelings would pass. I knew I was just healing something on a deeper level. So I meditated daily, prayed for God to take what I was feeling and help me release it and than surrendered to the icky, uncomfortable feelings, knowing on the deepest level of my soul that this too would pass and I’d be back to myself soon.
~ I GAVE TO OTHERS. As much as I could, I would try to help somebody else every day. It allowed me to focus on someone besides myself and the emptiness I was feeling by being of service to someone else who needed me.
~ I GOT MOTIVATED. I listed to every motivational/inspiring You tube video I could find… In the mornings while I got ready for work. On the drive to work. On the drive home. As I was falling to sleep every night. There are so many amazing spiritual teachers and inspiring people out in the world who have done Ted Talks or Commencement speeches or interviews online. All I had to do was google it, and a new one would come up to listen to daily. These SAVED ME.
~ I FLED TO MOMMY & DADDY. I flew home to NJ and allowed myself to be embraced and held by the people I love most. Because there is nothing like your family when you’re at your lowest point to help you through it.
And guess what happened? It passed. It passed as quickly as it came. And I realized why this time around it passed quicker than it has in the past.
BECAUSE I DID THINGS DIFFERENTLY. I didn’t do what I’ve always done before. What I’d always done before never worked. Do something you didn’t do last time if you want different results. DON’T KEEP SPIRALING. Talk about it. Ask people to help you. Get yourself out there and be with people.
Write to me. I get it. If you feel nobody else will, you got me. I get it.
And just know that this too shall pass.