|“I have looked at life from both sides now . . .”|
I know I am dating myself – but these lyrics from a Joni Mitchell song (Both Sides, Now) have been running through my head all weekend. We had such a fun weekend planned. My daughter Emery’s 11th birthday was Friday, and we had been looking forward to several small celebrations and fun outings. And then, on Thursday the day before her birthday, we learned that a good friend of ours had committed suicide.
For a moment the world stops turning – as you process such news, and in the next moment you are picking out a birthday cake.
Throughout this weekend, I was experiencing both side of life – difficulties, highs and lows, joy and grief, and the celebration of life and acceptance of death. In some ways, it made me feel more alive, more connected, more mindful and grateful for all parts of this life we have been given. In some ways, it was beautiful.
In other ways, especially processing the tragic loss of our friend, it left me with more questions than answers and asking myself over and over – “Why didn’t we know more about his depression?”
The only answer is this: There is still a HUGE stigma that surrounds mental health. Our friend had another physical chronic illness that we knew about, but he never discussed his battle with depression.
I knew this stigma existed, but because it didn’t affect me personally daily, I didn’t think about it often. This is the raw and sad truth about a lot of things in life. We get moving too fast to really understand and have compassion for others’ struggles. For this, I am feeling deeply sorry.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Well, first, sometimes when I sit down to write, the only words that come out are the ones that express what my heart is feeling.
Second, Empower’s mission is to help people lead stronger, healthier, happier lives. And, while we primarily do that through creating customized fitness training programs, we are also fully aware that our mental health is an integral part of our holistic health. We are not therapists, but we are friends. We care deeply about everyone we work with and we want to help normalize the conversation about mental health.
Below are a couple of resources that you may find helpful.
|Coping with Depression|
“When you’re depressed, you can’t just will yourself to “snap out of it.” But this guide to depression help can put you on the road to recovery.”
|Helping Someone with Depression|
“Your support and encouragement can play an important role in your loved one’s recovery. Here’s how to make a difference.”
|We also know of a wonderful group of therapist, doing great work. Please check them out here: Catalyst Therapeutic Services|
Peace and love,