Why We Need to the Address Mental Health Crisis
RIP Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade
I am shocked and saddened by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. Not only did I love and watch his show, but I thought that he had the best job in the world. Anthony’s suicide follows Kate Spade, earlier this week.
Both Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were successful, established, and creative souls. Often with creativity comes a lot of sensitivity, which may have led to their demise.
When speaking with an associate about these two deaths, his response was “Why would they do that? They had everything."
My response – When you are in the depths of despair, all the fame, success, money, and accomplishment means nothing. I know what that's like because I’ve been there, three times in my life to be exact.
They both had young children, and while there is speculation as to the reasons why, we really never know what goes on in someone’s mind or home. While I am not at the level of fame and fortune that they were, many would view me in the same light as having everything to live for.
I'm writing this today because it's time to break the stigma of Mental Health. This taboo can only be broken when we start sharing our stories and struggles because we are just like nature, the strongest trees need rain to grow.
I have struggled with infrequent depression my since my 20’s. Stemming from childhood trauma, I was for years unaware of the impact that it would have on my ability to regulate my emotions and at times, I would fall into a dark place. For me, depression was very situational, mostly revolving around relationships and once around a business issue. I am fortunate that I always seek help - I’ve been willing to do anything, and I mean anything that would offer relief. A few years ago, as I lay in bed, I contemplated departing this planet.
Two things prevented me from taking action.
1. Bentley, my dog
2. YogaFit and how it would be impacted
My third low point was around a failing relationship, my abandonment issues and feeling hopeless. Fortunately, a childhood friend came to me, gave me an action plan and lifted my spirits. From there I was able to once again use the tools that have helped me my entire life - yoga, fitness, meditation, therapy and most importantly taking action by focusing on rebuilding my own life. Putting deposits in the bank of positive emotion takes work and willingness to do whatever it takes to stay balanced.
I can safely say that I will never sink to that low. Due to intense spiritual exploration, plant medicine, brain scans, counselors, emotional regulation classes and mindfulness combined with clean eating, exercise, yoga, proper sleep and building strong friendships that are flourishing. Mental Health takes daily work, discipline, and intention. My day often starts with exercise, a headstand and a whole bunch of supplements - such as this Dr. Amen Mood Support Natural Formula that increases serotonin.
The epidemic of mental health issues is rarely talked about. However, by the amount of addiction in this country, it's evident that millions of people are seeking to get as far away from their pain as possible- at all cost. It is my dream to build a center where people can come and work on their health on every level – physically, mentally, and spiritually- so they can choose a different path and perhaps a healthy addiction. I suggest that people do service work to get out of their own pain by helping others.
Let’s all start talking about what we are struggling with, instead of putting on a brave face to the world, let’s have honest dialog with someone in our lives so that we may help others with their challenges. Let's listen with compassion and empathy when someone shares their struggle with us.
When we come out about our health issues, whatever they are, we can help people with theirs. Talk to friends so you have a safety buddy, make sure you are getting adequate rest, exercise and start a meditation practice. It is also helpful not to drink alcohol, or do so moderately, as it is a recipe for depression. Stay away from white flour and sugar which can give you highs, then lows. Be open to do whatever it takes to get over the hump - medication, group work like 12 step programs/DBT, and use hotlines if you are in a very bad place.
You can do it, it takes daily work and a lot of witness consciousness learned from yoga. Through witness consciousness, we discover how to observe our minds and all of the stories they tell us.
This is why I’m excited to announce my latest project, a book on Yoga for Trauma - so we can help a larger group of people who are searching for ways to ease their pain in a healthy manner.
Feel free to reach out to me if you need more tips or support - I'm always here.
“Beauty is a darkness, and the pleasure of embracing that gives you something more of your experience of life” - Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Hong Kong Edition
Remember the Essence of YogaFit:
Breathing, Feeling, Listening to the Body, Letting go of Expectations, Competition, and Judgment, and Staying in the Present Moment