A dear and amazing young woman I adore posted about her struggle with depression. She has been actively sharing her struggle. She doesn’t want another message event to be overtaken by someone’s recent suicide are fall into addictions. Instead, she wants to share. To break down the box mental health has been hidden in for 40 decades.
Can we all do that? Give the power to ourselves and NOT the fears, anxiety, loss, grief, shame, loneliness, isolation and sadness.
I call it authentic living. Sure, I’ve got a lot of great things going, but some moments, days, weeks, and months are just hard.
We don’t and won’t always know the cause, reason, or coping skill to come back to happy, content, and joy … but we fight like hell to get there.
We WANT to be there. What makes others keep moving, slows me down. What reminds me to take one more step, may be the vice or memory that sinks you to barren lands.
Be patient. We are human. We are every third person you encounter. We are just like you.
I saw a picture and post about a tattoo a few months
ago. Below, I’ve shared the picture.
(Please note, I am not aware of the original poster, but do offer them the
credit.) “I’m Fine” is a casual phrase we all use to move conversation along
and often rely on those two words to reflect the attention elsewhere. A young woman, suffering from chronic
depression, inked her body with these words.
But there is a twist, to her it reads “I’m Fine”, to others it reads
“Save me”. Think on that for a minute.
Continuing the journey of letting go reminded me of that
post and tattoo I saved in my phone. It
struck me simply because I believe we all suffer from a form of depression, but
for some, it lingers and consumes us.
When I embarked on the journey of placing worth in people, time, and
self, I had no idea that I would also be addressing deep hidden truths that led
me to respond with “I’m Fine” more often, than not.
You see, getting rid of all those things that distracted
me pushed me to examine the intangibles in my life. I would love to report that, after ridding
myself of electronics, negative media outlets, etc., I kept walking and never
looked back. But that wouldn’t be the
truth. The truth is that it continues to
be a struggle even today. To clear up
any misconception, I am not advising you enter your home and junk everything,
that is what I needed to do to start appreciating life and opportunity.
After that initial unloading in my mid-twenties, I struggled
with consumption and distraction well into my thirties. For a time, I would gain and accumulate, only
to lose it due to stupidity, ignorance, life choices, or a mixture of all three
plus seven more reasons. The idea of
what my priorities were became a wavering mindset and often fell to the waste
side when tempted by new technology and expensive toys that I had to have.
I taught my kids to use their money on experience, not
things that don’t last. Or purchase
something that will be with you for years and will serve a valuable purpose
other than a distraction from living. If
I only I led by example. Around the age
of 35 I experienced a year of profound loss and destruction. While the details are private, what I will
say is the life I knew changed in an instant.
Twelve months of death, sadness, financial loss, family struggle, and
court battles led to a period that will mark the beginning of living this life.
I lost everything.
Everything that meant something and everything that simply just took up
space. In the end, everything was just
another word. Pictures, items that
belonged to my late mother, electronics, files, records, furniture, collectibles,
if you look around and see something, chances are it can be counted in my “everything”. Devastation really doesn’t begin to explain
the emotions that processed through my heart and mind.
As I sat wondering what I would do, I was reminded of the
struggle I began a decade earlier to put worth in people and time. So, I began to separate myself from the
things I had no chance of recouping.
Instead, I focused on the people in my life. Those that were around me, those that were
far away, and those that I hadn’t even encountered yet. For me, letting go translated into gaining
Sitting here in my kitchen I look around and see stuff. Most that know me are fully aware that I love
Amazon and should probably be a key spokesperson for them. But things have a different place in my life
now. People come first. Experience comes first. LIFE comes first. Letting go carries so much more than walking
to the trash with things I haven’t touched in years. Letting go became a point in time. Things stopped replacing my feelings and
words began to reflect my true self at any given moment.
This journey hasn’t been easy and along the way I’ve learned
valuable truths about myself, my past, and how I can live a transparent
life. What are my distractions? Am I giving the people in my life the time
they deserve? Am I creating tasks to
avoid a situation? Am I “fine”?
What is your distraction?
Are you really “fine” or do you need some saving too?