I want to get real and personal with you today about a topic that’s incredibly important to me—living with a mental illness. This year (2020) has been tough for so many people. Even without the uncertainty of the economy and the pandemic, being a business owner has its challenges.
And on top of that, people are bravely speaking up about mental illness more and more.
I think this movement of being authentic and open on social platforms is just what we need. For so long, mental illness has been misrepresented. It’s misunderstood and therefore, it has developed a stigma around it along with falsehoods and myths. Myths surrounding mental illness make something like depression or anxiety seem so foreign and so taboo that struggling with these as a “functioning” human or “successful” human couldn’t be possible, or at least, shouldn’t be talked about. It’s seen as a weakness, a hindrance and something most people don’t understand.
Mental illness is not a weakness and it is not anyone’s fault.
I have dealt with depression and anxiety from a young age. It’s something I didn’t actually have a name for until recent years because I just always thought I was the angsty kid, or different and handled my emotions and life experiences unlike other kids and people around me. Now that I’m an adult and I’ve gone to therapy, I’ve worked through some of my past life and my symptoms and I now know what to call it, but it’s taken me years of inner struggle and loneliness to actually understand what it is. Now, I’m not saying that I know everything about mental illness, I am not a medical professional and every experience is different, but because my depression and anxiety have crept into my life as a business owner, I have some things that I want to share with you.
I know how hard it can be to feel confident, to feel good and to feel hopeful, so I don’t have much to say in this blog post except for these three truths that I want to share with you:
1. If you’re struggling with mental illness, you are not alone.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness…and that’s only the ones willing to talk about it!
2. Talking about it can help.
When your thoughts are out of control, overwhelming or negative, allow yourself to hear it or see it. I don’t care if you share with yourself in your journal, to your best friend, your mom, whoever…This forces you to pull that thought down to eye level and handle it at face value. Sometimes it can seem much more intense when it’s in your head floating around that when you actually go to speak it or write it down, you’re able to breathe through it and work through it. Vulnerability isn’t weakness.
3. You can still be successful.
Yes, in spite of, or in addition to your depression or whatever mental illness you’re struggling with, you can still run a successful business, be a spouse, a mom, a friend…don’t let it stop you.
For most of my life, I’ve felt ashamed of my story and my battle with depression and anxiety. Don’t do this – don’t let it stop you from living and bringing your beautiful and broken story to the world. Find a support group and/or a therapist to talk to, I’m so glad I did. I wouldn’t be able to address my triggers, my defenses, thoughts, and battles in the way I do now. This helps me fight and push through days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed, or the anxiety takes over my body.
You are capable of success and being a leader despite your mental illness, you are strong and have so much to contribute to your relationships, your experiences, LIFE.
If you are in crisis and need help immediately, please call the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine: 1-800-273-TALK or text “Talk” to 741741.
Subscribe & Review
If you had an ah-ha! moment or learned just ONE new valuable bit of information, I’d be so grateful if you would leave a 5-star review and tell me what you love most about this podcast. It’s a HUGE motivator for me to keep creating this for you. In addition, it helps our raking in iTunes so that more people discover this show.
And to make sure you never miss an episode (including any pop-up bonus episodes), click here to subscribe on Apple iTunes!
Episode 20: Social Media Boundaries to Adopt to Protect Your Mental Health
Episode 32: Struggling with Saying No? I’ve Got Tips For You!
Episode 39: The Effects That Stress and Posture Can Have on Your Health with Dr. Bill DeMoss
Episode 5: What No One Tells You About Being Your Own Boss
Episode 3: My Story: From Side Hustle to Thriving Business
Jenna, thank you so much for sharing your struggle with depression and anxiety. I’ve been following you on Instagram for years, and from your upbeat demeanor, I would have never suspected this is something you deal with. And I’m really grateful you chose to open up about it.
I’m an artist and business owner too, and I can really relate to your story. It gives me hope that you don’t have to be a super happy person with no problems to be successful 🙂
I love your tip about writing out your negative thoughts or voicing them to a friend. This is something that I always thought was counter active — like verbalizing those thoughts would make them stronger. But I think it’s the opposite… you have to call them out to take away their power over you.
Thanks for being open about this.
Hi Jenna, your post is nice but I have thoughts and personal connection so I wanted to share. Please take no offense- I love you, and what you have created.
What if a person admits or shares that they have a diagnosis? Bipolar or Schitsophrenia?
That’s not so cool. The real issue is that some on SM have shared- But in all truth, we can’t share the Real Truth. Yes, I’ve seen some who share these diagnoses and Use them to make money- (not you)
I stop following them immediately.
My opinion is that “anxiety” and “depression” are ok to share- but don’t you dare show the world any other diagnosis- you will be less than capable. Most People are driven by “fitting in” and these diagnosis make a person stand out, sometimes alone. It is because of ignorance. Most folks, unless they had family members with mental illness- they do not get it, nor do they have the compassion, to attempt to understand it. This is what our present society needs. True compassionate understanding. Your blog post, may bring us closer to this.
Thanks for your text today…
I am experiencing depression and anxiety too from childhood till today with two kids…
It is very difficult to talk about it… people always think you are overdoing it and it is so frustrating when it eats you from inside without any “realistic” reason…
Still it is the same and so painfull…
But I would watercolor… ans it helps me a lot, even of I still am nor very good at it !!
Look forward to your new book.
Take care of you and the Baby !!
Sorry for any mispelling… I am French and following you from Paris !!