Dear Ask Ashlee,
I have been really depressed the last few months. I lost my job a little while ago, so I struggle to pay my bills on time, which seems to push me into a deeper depression. I am single so there is no one around that I feel like I can depend on or even share these struggles with. I suffer in silence most days because I don’t want to be the one to darken the mood because I’m present. I have been kind of wondering if maybe I should start my own business, but I have no idea what I would start or sell. I just feel like before the new year comes, I need to have a plan, but I feel lost, and I just don’t really know where to begin. I know you talk about therapy a lot and why people in our community need to go, but I feel embarrassed by the idea that I would need that. I feel like I am just going through something right now, but therapy is a longer commitment that I don’t really think I need. Any advice for someone who is not really in need of therapy but could use a really good pep talk?
Ms. Ready for Change
Dear Ms. Ready for Change,
So, here’s the thing, everyone needs therapy until they don’t and most people that go through therapy and utilize what they have learned it in, rarely want to stop going. Therapy can be a long-term commitment, but you have to find beauty in that. You wouldn’t be committing to “therapy” per say, you would be making a long-term commitment to yourself. You would be making the conscious decision to devote time to yourself so that you can become more aware and more mindful of yourself, while discovering who you are and what you need. Therapy is not for the therapist; it is for you to get the help on some of the very questions you are asking right now. Depression can hit anyone! You are not alone when it comes to depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, just this year alone, 16.2 million Americans have had an episode of some kind of severe depression and that number is just based on the amount of people that are willing to admit they are depressed. I talk about the importance of therapy because I believe in it. I believe in it because I have had to do the same work that will be required of you when you commit to yourself. Therapy will require you to sit with yourself and sort through the thoughts of despair you are having. It will guide you along the way while you discover certain truths about yourself, whether they are good, bad, or ugly. In addition, you will learn how to deal with yourself moving forward. You mentioned wanting to start a business, but you don’t know where to begin. Every single entrepreneur that has created something, has had that exact thought before they started. The only difference between you and them, is that they decided to begin somewhere. Consider what you are good at, whether it is a natural born gift or a hobby that you love so much you would do it for free. Whatever that is, that is the place to start. Guess what, therapy can also help you with becoming an entrepreneur too. Most of the entrepreneurs I know have had to take a moment to focus on their self-care, their health, and their mental state of mind. My advice is this, take the leap and commit to yourself. Commit to your own form of self-care and what that looks like for you. Commit to working out, eating healthy, getting rest, and drinking water. Commit to dealing with your depression instead of allowing it to deal with you. Call it your “new year resolution” if you have to but take it one day at a time and keep the promises of your commitment. Do not break them for any reason. Make that commitment to yourself. I hope this helps!
Love and Light,