Mental Health & Accountability

We live in a great time where mental health is prioritized alongside physical health. Most insurance companies are accepting therapy as ‘Primary Care’ rather than Specialised.

Leveraging on that privilege, I have been able to work with a therapist for a year now, and although I am slow in progress, there were many ‘aha’ moments. Those memories contributed to my empty tank of self-esteem. I do not believe that therapy is the end-all-be-all cure, but, change really does start with you. I am where I am today because, during my own time, I sought out resources in the form of podcasts, self-help books, and intimate sharing with friends that have allowed me to flourish quicker.

You see, ever since my entrepreneur journey commenced, I’ve been in a bind – Experiencing bouts of depressive emotions varying from weeks to a majority of days. The anticipation of freedom and goals excitedly to be accomplished quickly spiraled down to despair over the structure-less, lonely, distraction-filled unproductive weeks following and lasting weeks after. I hadn’t given up, but a little part of me died. It felt as though my energy was zapped like an alkaline battery about to reach its end of life.

Then, yesterday happened.

The owner of a coworking space I used to work out of, sent an email wanting to welcome me back. I embraced this with a renewed sense of faith and hope. Call me crazy, but this felt like a sign from the universe that a positive change is precipitous and I am hungrily soaking up the renewed belief and motivation.

Following up on that ‘high’, I decided to reach out to a friend, and coincidentally she was free to meet for lunch. Yay lunch! I love food. Our conversation circled the depression perimeter, as we carefreely detailed those emotions, the highs and lows, the invisible yet deeply-rooted shame and judgment we cast upon ourselves. The more we talked, the initial shame turned into feelings of connectedness and love.

We both share a predilection for self-improvement and her latest discovery was the Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies quiz. Soon after, I took the same quiz at home and to no surprise, we share the same results. We both rely on external sources to validate our self-worth. We succumb to other people’s needs over ours because by making them fulfilled and happy, it epitomizes our value. In order for us to excel in meeting our own resolution and goals, we need to seek out accountability partners/friends who’d preferably be an example of a parent – providing that discipline and encouragement we need. 

HelpGuide’s first solution to overcoming depression is by connecting with others. Depression is invisible to the naked eye and if we’re not reaching out, our loved ones will not know the pain we’re in. Emotions are like waves, they are unpredictable and can be as forceful as nature dictates. However, we can take the steps to equip ourselves with the tools to combat this mental illness. The stigma is no longer as prevalent and by sharing our vulnerability, it makes us more human. Change starts from within but that doesn’t mean we should limit ourselves to our own strengths. Sometimes, all we really need is a push from others to reach our potential.

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