I write one blog post and finally, everything starts moving.
I didn’t realise I felt so much shame when it came to my depression. I know it hasn’t been a secret, I have had depression in the past and I have been open about it. The vengeance of it returning these last few months knocked me for six.
I broke. These last few months have been the worst and I think my son’s diagnosis was what broke the camel’s back.
This episode of depression which I feel I am on the tail end of has been the worst I have experienced in years. I felt isolated. That I was in a position that I couldn’t share what was going on.
I was functioning, barely.
The shame I felt was intense. How could I be depressed? My business was doing well, I had no big money issues (finally) I have an amazing house and amazing friends. I had nothing to be depressed about.
The worst week was the week I was keynoting for Social Media Conference New Zealand. Every hour up to the day I was thinking I need to cancel. Pull out. I didn’t want to be there and I didn’t want to talk to people and pretend to be happy. I picked up the phone a hundred times but I knew if I didn’t turn up. I would sink lower in due to the fact I had let people down. I don’t do that.
I finally made the decision to open up to a few people and let them know how I was feeling. One of the best decisions I have ever made. It is easy to talk about depression when you are out of it, but when you are in it. It is a hard thing to share.
I gave my keynote and it went off without a hitch. Thankfully. An afterwards I had a chance meeting with Renee Greenland from F.A.B Mumma – She supports Mum’s with depression. She has depression and has been very open with her journey.
That chance meeting and the discussion on shame really helped me sift through the barriers I had put up. She let me just let everything out. Poor thing didn’t know what hit her. It was good to hear her thoughts which helped me uncover my shame.
As business owners, we are expected to put on a front. People like myself shouldn’t put personal things out there because it can damage the brand. I have always been open about my journey but after the fact. Not when I am in it.
And there is the possibility that this could muddy my brand but to be honest it hurts me more NOT being honest with who I am.
I have kept this inside for months and my creativity vanished. I could write no words. I haven’t created anything in months and that has been more damaging to not only my brand but to myself.
The words are flowing today because yesterday I knew I have to figure out why.
My body is not coping. I have been sick for months and it is apparent to me now that bottling up all my pain is slowly killing me. Trying to be strong. Showing no weakness, fearing the shame. Trying to shove down the hurt. Not letting myself cry. These things have been instrumental in rearing up my depression.
Running from your feelings isn’t a weakness. Crying isn’t a weakness. Having feelings isn’t a weakness.
Being honest with yourself first, has to be the first step. Admitting that things are not ok is ok to do.
Source people you can talk to who understand depression and can give you the space to share.
And don’t be ashamed of how you are feeling. Open up, share and then take steps to move forward. One day at a time and some days one hour at a time.