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For the last couple of weeks I've been feeling pretty depressed again. The reason I’m writing about it is because I've spoken to several people who seem to be feeling the same way right now, so perhaps there are a few of us out there going through the same thing.
When my depression is at its worst I feel completely hopeless. I feel so oppressed by my own thoughts that I can’t move. I can’t see the way out, and I have no fight left in me. Even if I did, I wouldn’t know which way to fight. It feels completely hopeless.
The sad truth is our world doesn’t really offer much guidance getting out. Many are yet to even accept depression as a real illness, despite suicide being the leading cause of death for Australians aged 18-44. If you want help you have to pay for it, and so finding the way out is often a road we are left to navigate alone.
There are two main words I can use to summarise my depression - defeat and despair. These words could probably be used to describe my personality at its centre. I feel defeat and despair at my core, have learnt how to carry them while my internal monologue resembles something of a cross between Eyeore and Dr. House.
This time around I’ve really been honing in on the feeling of defeat to try to understand it better. I know most of my defeat comes from the unrelenting standards I put on myself and the constant pressure to achieve them, but I’m going deeper. I’ve started writing a list of everything that ‘brings me down’. For example, driving long distances, replying to certain people on Instagram, and having to make jackets brings me down. It’s an exertion of my energy. Meanwhile, my cats, meditation and scootering with my bestie brings me up.
I’m starting to get really clear about the events, people and circumstances that bring me down in life so I can limit my exposure to these things, and the sad truth is a lot of what I do for MEW Clothing is on the ‘down’ list. There is simply too much for one person to do, and as a result I live a constant blanket of stress and pressure. There is a never ending ‘to do’ list, and the things that were once fun have become a chore.
Something is out of alignment, and for the first time I’m starting to understand what it is. I’m always chasing. There is always this belief that I have to make it ‘over there’ before I am allowed to relax, before I can focus on my mental health, before I can do many of the things I love. My mental health has taken a backseat to my goals. It has become a second priority.
What I’m realising is that ‘over there’ doesn’t exist. My problem isn’t my inability to achieve my goals, it’s the mindset that my life will start ‘over there’ and not today. The grass is always greener, as the saying goes. I have to figure out a way to be happy now, to create a life where I can build around that. I guess that’s where I’m at now, because often when I feel depressed it's because I’ve realised I’m going the wrong way in life. I realise my way forward isn’t working, and I haven't yet found a new way to go. This is when I feel lost and hopeless.
My new way forward is to build a life around new priorities. It’s to figure out a way to be happy now and build my life around that. This, sadly, means stepping back from MEW clothing. My business should serve me, but if I am not enjoying it then what is the point? I created MEW to set myself free, but I have become a slave to it. So I’ll be reducing the number of jackets I make, and the quality of my content, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can breathe. Now I see my way forward, and suddenly the despair has lessened.
What I’m really choosing is me. I really believe when you choose you there the Universe always rewards you. Lately I’ve been thinking about Simone Biles who pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics, and Naomi Osaka who pulled out of the French Open due to mental health. Despite the disappointment they caused to millions, the opportunities they themselves missed out on, and with the pressure of the whole world watching, they chose to put themselves first.
The reason I'm writing this isn't a ‘poor me’. I’m doing better now and prefer people not to message me. I just think sometimes if we all let down our masks at the same time we will see we are all the same. While I’m realigning things in my personal life, I think this will change will flow out into MEW Clothing. Moving forward I want to focus MEW more on community. I want to start challenges that reward people for doing mental health practices such as cold swims and meditation. I want to help people see the way forward, and hope that doing so will encourage them to choose themselves too.
Never give up,
Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace.” Spirit says, “Find your peace and then everything will fall into place.” - Marianne Williamson.
“Depression is the exasperation that comes from believing in false premises.” - Aubrey Marcus.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” - J.K. Rowling.
The FORMULA For Self Love That Will Change Your Life W/ Kamal Ravikant | Aubrey Marcus Podcas