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I May Have Depression But I Don’t Let It Define Who I Am

This is a follow-up story to a piece I wrote earlier on in the year about how depression made me become a better entrepreneur. It’s taken me awhile to write this post which I’ve had in the back of my mind for weeks now. I guess this is why its 4.18am on a Sunday morning and my brain is telling me I won’t be able to sleep until I write this.

 

When you put yourself out there and reveal your scars to the world (whether these be physical or mental) it is a scary experience. The world can be a harsh place and as I write this I am freaking out about what people will think about me when I reveal more about my struggles with depression.

When you are business owner, you have a personal brand that tell others who you are and I’m always fearful that being open about depression will be detrimental to my company and my brand. My company is my baby, I put my whole soul into it and I don’t want to be known as ‘that crazy girl from Vent2Me, who whines about having depression all the time’!

The other side of me (I like to call her logical Julia) is a much more strong-willed individual. Logical Julia doesn’t care what people think and knows that there are people out there who value these insights. The hard part of depression is trying to balance illogical and logical Julia in a way that is productive and makes life enjoyable, not just for me but for people around me too.

Related: How depression made me become a better entrepreneur

This week has been particularly tough. I’ve changed medications and I’ve definitely experienced a variety of emotions. I feel like a child again not really understanding the world and getting frustrated and upset by it all. Yet in another way, I see things much more clearly than I ever have before.

Similar to that feeling of putting yourself out there, looking internally at yourself is scary too. Determining what you like and what you don’t like about yourself is something I’ve avoided for a very long time. Hence, why I’m in the situation I am in now.

The word that keeps coming to mind during this internal searching is the word acceptance. Accepting yourself is hard, but I’ve come to realise there isn’t another person like me in the world. Once you realise this, an amount of energy and power you have never felt before comes alive within.

I am the master of my own destiny and I am not going to let depression or anything else define me or rule my world, unless I bloody well want it to.

Earlier this year, I had a close friend of mine tell me she no longer wanted to be friends with me. At the time it sucked. It felt like a divorce and when you have depression, you can’t see always things clearly.  Truth was, we weren’t as close as we had been. In fact, we had been drifting apart for awhile; the breakup was inevitable . I went through all the emotions that came with it and recently ended up coming to acceptance (see I told you this word was important). We are both such different people to what we were when we first became friends and I’m happy for all the memories we had prior to this pretty awful situation.

The funny thing is when you lose a friend or someone important in your life, in some ways it can be the best thing to happen to you. Why, you may ask? Because it gives you the opportunity to pick yourself up and grow. And what I’ve learnt with having depression is that you need people in your corner – it’s often the people you don’t expect who the are ones who have your back. I’m in a good place now and I don’t wish her any ill will. If there was an opportunity for us to be friends again, would I take it? Probably not, I’m happy, she is happy and I’m happy being in the distance. Life is too short to waste time thinking of the past, so it’s best to move forward.

If you focus on negativity, you attract negativity, so I’ve realised its important to take time out to enjoy the things I’m good at. For one, I love meeting people and surrounding myself with like minded individuals. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk and thankfully this year I’ve discovered a bunch of talented ladies who inspire me in ways I never thought was possible.

Related: Soaring to new heights: A life changing experience at Soar Collective

Before I end this post I thought I’d just say the following:

Everything you do is a choice. I’ve chosen to write this post, as a result I’ll have to accept any feedback I get. Don’t blame other people for the choices you make, but don’t blame yourself  either. We do what we think is right at the time. For me I am sticking with my acceptance mantra and have the positive feeling that 2015 is going to be an awesome year. I might have depression but it sure as hell isn’t going to stop me kicking ass!

Until next time,

Jules xo

 

About Julia Makin

I live and breathe marketing. My passion is service marketing, which is why I founded Vent2Me in 2010. To me, marketing is not only about creating something that was just once an idea - it's about being able to shape the world and make it the place you want it be.

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