Several years back I was invited to attend a fundraising gala in this beautiful historic hotel on a beach in southern California. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I dreamed of being invited to events like this. People dressed to the nines, dripping in jewels, laughing, having a good time and all for charity. I was giddy when I arrived at the venue and the event did not disappoint. When the presentation was over, I was talking with some women in a circle and one of them was a financial coach focused on helping women get control of their finances. As we stood their and I listened to her talk about a retreat she was having, I happily chimed in “I’d be totally interested in something like that, I am really struggling to figure my finances out, right now.” At the moment, from out of nowhere, this women jumped in front of me and with the most dramatic movement, began grasping and pulling at the air in front of my face as if I had a deadly cluster of spiders all over my face and if she didn’t get them off of me, I would surely die. While she was performing these frantic gestures, she began yelling “CANCEL! CANCEL! CANCEL!” It was quite a scene and to say I was startled would be an understatement. She finally felt she had removed the negative energy I had just put out into the universe and brought her hands down and began to scold me on how I should NOT say “negative” things like that.
After I realized what had happened, I kind of chuckled a bit because being in the self-help world for so long, I have been witness to those who believe that even speaking something we don’t want to have happen will make it happen. Listen, I’m a big believer in the law of attraction and so I understand the idea of bringing negative things into your life through thought, action and words, however, I am also a big believer in the fact that you can not move forward and accomplish the things you want in your life if you don’t acknowledge where you’re at. At that time, I did not have a grasp on my finances and I was acknowledging that out loud so that I might move forward and create positive change.
As I sit here reflecting on 2017 and setting my intentions for 2018, I am realizing that that event really effected me. I did not attend that retreat and I still hesitate to say when I’m struggling with something out loud now. I’m also realizing that I need to acknowledge something that’s been holding me back in order to make sure I can move forward more easily. I deal with depression. I have most of my life. And, not just the depression that came along with my PTSD, but general depression – feels like a giant wet blanket is on top of me so I can’t breath and feel as though I’m being crushed but it’s so heavy that I can’t get it off of me because I’m just not strong enough – that kind of depression. Because I deal with depression, I have good days and bad days and those bad days consist of me needing to be alone. That said, it has effected my career – a lot lately.
Several years back, I experienced some pretty major success and in that success, I felt more pressure to deny my depression instead of tending to it and taking care of myself. I got so stressed out that I got scared and so, ever since then, I have developed a serious fear of success. Now, every time I get excited about a project and can see and feel it growing into the success I want it to be, I shut down. I get in my own way and I sabotage. I stop listening to my gut and start listening to others and I burn myself out so that I don’t have to get to the level of success that would garner people expecting me to be at the top of my game all the time. I essentially let my depression win before the game even begins.
And, that’s what’s been happening with the trip, I’ve been sabotaging it. I’ve cried waaaaay more sad, frustrated, angry tears than I have happy ones and that’s just not ok. So, as we move into 2018, I need to acknowledge those two things – I deal with depression and this trip hasn’t been what I dreamed it to be. I am also going to acknowledge two other things – I have all the tools in my toolbox to deal with my depression and this trip isn’t what I dreamed it would be because of me. I haven’t been dealing with my depression, I’ve been sabotaging and I’m letting the depression win.
It is time for me to STOP THAT! Not dealing with my depression is like not dealing with a leaky pipe even though the wrench is in my hands. Instead of using it to stop the leak, I’m standing in a pool of water that is rising and rising and rising yelling CANCEL! CANCEL! CANCEL! hoping it ill just stop and that’s MY FAULT.
You know, the silver lining, blessing for me regarding my PTSD is that I had access to some of the most amazing therapies in the world. There are so many who suffer with mental illness that can not get the help they need and so, I would be a big giant ASS if I didn’t take advantage of the fact that I have an overflowing toolbox to help me deal with my depression. And, so – IT’S TIME.
It’s time for me to acknowledge that I am me warts and all and there’s nothing I can do about that. HOWEVER, I also have to acknowledge that I have to take responsibility for how I’m dealing with my life. I am the only one who can decide if I’m going to live in a sad teardrop or a happy teardrop.
In making that decision, my word for the year is going to be JOY. I am going to diligently focus on those things that bring me joy. I am also going to use the resources I have around me to make sure I stay on track. I mean, I created an entire course at Udemy to help people get to the heart of their brand and their life. I’ve lost sight of mine. So, I am going to take 2018 to go through that course again, as a student and really dive in becauseI want my life to be full of purpose and joy.
I hope you will join me on this journey and hold me accountable to blogging about it because one thing the depression does is makes me isolate and I just feel better when I share.
Here’s to making 2018 the most JOYFUL year yet!
With all my creativity,
Two years ago this trip was just a dream. Last year, I almost gave up on it. Want to know how I turned it all around and made this dream into a reality? Click Here