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I Still Can’t Believe It, But I Understand…..

Thursday morning I woke up to the news that one of my all time favorite musicians, Chris Cornell, had passed away.

It really hit me in the heart. Even though I have since seen interviews with him from when he had spoken abut dealing with depression, I did know he had at that time. It was completely unexpected!

Chris Cornell was certainly musically gifted. He had such a soulful voice and I really enjoyed listening to him sing. I was fortunate enough to see him with Soundgarden in the mid 90’s, and then a second time when he did his acoustic tour a few years ago.

As he sat alone on stage with his acoustic guitar, he weaved back and forth between playing music and telling stories. To hear him talk about his wife and kids, you wold never guess what he had been dealing with internally.

That’s the most frightening part about depression. When you suffer with it, you learn to put on a smile, not bother anyone, not let anyone know. You wouldn’t want to bother anyone, afterall….

But we need to let people know when it’s affecting us.

Today I am having a rough time.

In my case, I can pinpoint all of the triggers that are making me feel this way today: Not enough sleep, I haven’t been doing my journaling, my kids are with their dad today, hungry….these all spiral into feeling a certain way about things that may or may not be true.

For example: Half of the people in my VIP group are not posting and engaging. I have reached out over private messenger and not heard back. So logically…..that means I’m a horrible coach, can’t help anyone, why am I even doing this? I suck. I suck at life. Why would anyone talk to me anyway?

You see how easily that can spiral?

If my brain lived in the land of logic I could see that I am being ridiculous. But when your brain is affected by depression you can’t always see that line. We need to have allies that we can reach out to when we feel this way that can help us to get back on track with the steps that will help.

I know when I am feeling it creep in I need to check my list.

Am I hungry?
Did I get enough sleep?
Did I exercise?
Do I need a good cry?
Do I need to scream?
Do I need to journal?
Do I need to journal while I’m screaming and crying?

I am far enough into my journey that I know the steps that help me reel it back in. I am fortunate that I have gotten to this point. It took a lot of years, a lot of personal development, and knowing who to surround myself with to help lift me up.

They say that you are the product of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. I agree with this 100%

I use this example of how that has happened to me personally:

I have been working out 5-7 days a week for 4 years now. I thought I knew what kinds of work outs that I like. I was about cardio and calisthenics. I wanted nothing to do with a weight. Dumbbells were dumb LOL

I wound up joining a group that was doing Body Beast because I had a challenger who was doing that program and I wanted to learn about it to help him. The more I saw the posts and interacted with the people in the group the more I knew I had to do Body Beast! I got a bench, weights etc and fell in love with the program. I would have never even tried it if I hadn’t surrounded myself with people doing it.

The same is true if you surround yourself with people who are negative all the time. If the people you hang out with are constantly complaining and looking at the worst in every situation, you will start to do the same if you continue to expose yourself to that behavior. I have had to cut people out of my life who had been friends of mine for decades because they were bringing me down. I don’t mean someone who is going through a rough time!!!! Please don’t misunderstand. I am always there for my friends when they’re in need and i will do what I can to help lift them up. What I mean is people who are only happy when they are miserable. That you literally spend hours of your life trying to encourage and lift up, but they prefer to complain and live in misery.

I didn’t want to lose them from my life, but my life depended on it.

So now here I am, wishing that one of my music idols had been in a place where he could have used a plan in place to help climb out of the hole he felt himself in. Wishing I could see him perform live again. Wishing more than anything that he was still here for his wife and kids.

But depression doesn’t care. It gives no shits if you are happily married and have kids. Or if you are homeless and alone living under a bridge.

We need to erase the stigma of depression. I had a brief conversation with one of my Facebook friends about how she didn’t know how to explain to her child how Chris Cornell died. I asked if he had died of cancer would she hesitate to tell her child that was the case? We need to stop treating mental illness as something that we should be ashamed of and find ways to treat it effectively.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression find the triggers (some days there really aren’t any) and put a plan in place to deal. If you are on medication to treat it, take it as directed. Don’t skip days or take more than you should.

Take care of you because you are worth it!!!!! <3

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