A few years ago I wrote a blog post about my experience with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and after it was live I got an angry text from someone really close to me telling me to contact them ‘urgently’.
They were furious. Furious that I had written honestly about my depressive episode and needing therapy.
“You made it sound like no one around you gave a f*ck.”
“You have to be careful what you put on the internet, people will think you’re crazy.”
“Someone could report you and then social services will take your children away because you’re crazy.”
Are you kidding me?
“You can be angry at me all you want, but I’m trying to look out for you.”
No, they weren’t.
This conversation haunts me still. Not because there was truth to anything they said – to this day I’ve had nothing but positive comments and messages about sharing the realities of coping with depression in motherhood – but because I let it scare me to the point where I shut down the blog for almost a year because I was worried about how other people viewed me.
I eventually came back to writing and this person went back to being supportive, but I stayed away from anything that would cause that reaction again.
Now I know that their reaction to the piece was more about their insecurities than my willingness to be open about mental health.
It took time and A LOT of work on myself to be able to push through the fear of their opinion (or anyone else’s)so I could write truthfully again.
I’m basically at a place now where I refuse to let my journey with mental health define me but I’m far from ashamed of it.
I believe everything happens for a reason. We go through the bad stuff for the lessons and to grow; and without my experiences with depression I wouldn’t have been able to write the Amy Cole series.
This weekend a book of mine reached #1 in two Amazon best-seller categories and #2 in another.
I would never have been able to achieve this had I stayed silent and crushed by this person’s opinion.
It was because of this incident that I will never let another person’s opinion stop me from doing something I love – no matter how close they are to me.
The best part of releasing these books and making this dream a reality were the countless messages I received from strangers who read them and saw themselves in Amy’s struggle. The most commonly used word people chose in their messages or reviews was ‘relatable’.
I can’t stress this enough:
You are not alone in this. You never have to be and this season of struggle doesn’t have to define your life.
There are people, resources and support out there and if you still feel you can’t reach out to family and friends to talk about it, then click on the message icon of this page and vent to a rambling stranger who writes overly long pieces about mental health on a Sunday morning because her kids were up too early.
Do whatever it takes to break free from the fear that depression thrives on but especially: don’t let the bastards get you down, you never know what your life can become once you spring clean the toxic arseholes from your life.
The final part of the Amy Cole series: Amy Cole has it all figured out, is available NOW!