Shortly before turning 50, my world went dark. Wrapping up a 20 year career, I’d misplaced my purpose, and strayed from my path. So I did what any normal person would do, and buried the depression deep beneath my feet.
This perfect storm was sponsored by the letter ‘M’. A milestone birthday, menopause, money mishaps, and marital melancholy.
Good morning, let the stress begin…
I experienced heart palpitations, shed 10 pounds (opposite day in the life of a stress eater), and got butterflies over simple acts such as lunch with close friends.
I was humbled by this newfound Eeyore anxiety. After carefully cultivating a semi-charmed kind of life, how could anyone understand my heartache?
Unable to find my footing, I finally raised the white flag (which I considered defeat) by seeking help from a psychologist. My therapist pointed out that when I coughed up the deep dark shit, it was done with a sunny smile.
I always wore a game face, proving that people who come across as unflappable aren’t always what they seem.
Therapy was agonizing, but it put humpty back together again. I detested dealing with daddy issues, ancient history, my triggers, my flaws. She patiently explained that in order to rebuild a home, you have to tear the foundation down brick by brick.
Like miranda rights, human rights should read: If you can’t afford a therapist, one will be appointed for you.
I didn’t know Kate Spade, or Anthony Bourdain, or Robin Williams, but I felt the ripple effect from their pain.
Anxiety isn’t mind over matter, because my mind is the matter.
I learned that vulnerability doesn’t equal weakness. That there’s no shame in asking for help. Anxiety isn’t a chink in my armour. I’ll avenge it however I see fit; naturally, medicinally, or pharmaceutically.
Treat people with kindness, compassion, and understanding. Give back to unearth true happiness.
When it feels like the world’s gone mad, look for the laughter, the love, the light.
We all love someone who lives with mental health issues. It’s time to end the stigma.
The Sisters have been there. We’ve got your back.
No judgment. No shame!
Canadian Suicide Prevention Line: 1-833-456-4566
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