Each year on my birthday, I look back at the past year, and at past birthdays, and try to make sense of it all. So today I'm going to share the big lessons of this last year, and well, the last 35 years.
About a year ago, I realized: This isn't normal. I want to get better. I'm going to have to face this head on.
I realized I had been living with anxiety, panic attacks and depression… for pretty much forever. A year ago I made that realization and last September, I talked about it with you in episode 123. Since then I've gotten so many emails, comments and conversations about your own struggles and the question: So what do you DO?
Today I'd like to share what I've found works for me.
This weekend at Midwest Craft Con, I was on a panel about depression and anxiety. At the end we had a Q+A and I wanted to talk today about a question that has stuck with me:
How do you get out of bed when everything is awful?
Today we’re going to get into some heavy stuff that a LOT of you have talked to me about privately: anxiety and depression.
Over the last 6 months or so, I have been amazed at how many people have come up and talked to me about their mental health or that of a family member – anxiety, depression, and Alzheimers. Stories of their abuse, miscarriage, stillbirths, of their children with Autism and learning disabilities and physical disabilities. And this makes sense statistically, as 1 in 5 adults deal with mental health issues at least once in their life.
At CGOA in July I started to think: I know it's common among thriving business owners, but you – my dear friends – may not. You're not hearing these stories. And for good reason – it’s personal and these makers aren't called to share it all online. But I am.
I'm here to help you know you're not alone in this.
You are NOT alone in struggling with this. And as I share, I want you to remember – whatever you're struggling with, not only are you not alone, but you can also move forward WITH IT. Exactly as you are. People are doing it. You don't have to be different, better, or “more together” to make a business thrive.
Now, before we go on, I wanna give you a warning – I’m going to talk about suicide, depression and anxiety. When I’ve been at my most anxious, reading about other people’s anxiety made my own symptoms worse, so please be kind to yourself.
If you’re feeling like you can’t listen to this, that’s OK! But please use this time to talk to someone – tell someone in your life, or talk to a professional. You can call a helpline with professionals of the National Institute of Mental Illness at 800-950-6264. To find affordable options for a mental health professional, visit NAMI.org. Don’t just read stuff on the internet, tell a human being. Feel free NOT to listen to this week's episode and get help if you are feeling panicked or depressed.
If you're still in, go ahead and click on the player above to listen to the episode or watch the video below.
I am happy to hear your own story (including what works for you!) and I'd love if you felt comfortable sharing it with the community. To share your storey, call my inbox at (567) 393-8272 and leave a message telling me how you're working on your business with depression and anxiety – you can share your name or remain anonymous. If I have more than 3 calls, I'll put it together into a podcast episode as proof that it's not just me and you.
If you feel like you can’t handle your anxiety or you feel deeply uninterested in life for more than 2 weeks and you don’t think you have anyone in your life that will help you, call NAMI: 800-950-6264 or make a doctor’s appointment.
I posted about this in the Starship last week, before recording this podcast and the outpouring of support and “me toos” has given me the courage I need to share this with you. The Starship is full of people who are being brave and working on their business, despite anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. It opens tomorrow, so if you’d like to learn more, head to TaraSwiger.com/ starshipbiz
Talk about this with me, live, in tomorrow's free webinar. Details here.
Tomorrow I'm continuing this conversation with a free webinar. In it, I'll share the specifics of how I kept my business going while taking time off, and examples from my students and friends. To join us, sign up here.