On the heels of letting life find us and living to the fullest, I recently came across one of Mayim Bialik’s podcast episodes and she spoke candidly that sometimes what we classify as depression is really us not living the life we want. It makes sense—if we aren’t doing what we are meant to do, if we spend little time doing what we are called to do, if we aren’t in creation, then how are we able to experience the joy of living? We are trained early on to fall into the same patterns and habits as those before us, completely ignoring that 90% of people following that pattern are unhealthy, miserable, and in debt—and each one of those things alone can cause depression—and we wonder why we lost touch with happiness. We aren’t meant to strap ourselves to imagined financial or social obligations—we are meant to collaborate, cooperate, and create in ways aligned with our purpose. We are meant to work on our dreams, not the dreams of others.
I think Bialik’s Breakdown (that’s her podcast as well 😊) of this facet of mental health hit me as well because I’ve alternated between anxiety, depression, and figuring out where ADHD fits in for a big portion of my life. I had anxiety and depression very early on—and the ADHD probably existed long before I realized what it was. I get anxious because my mind moves quickly and needs to do all the things but I never get to finish them so I’m sitting amongst a million half-started projects and dreams wondering how to find myself and which one really is me. It’s stressful to the mind sitting amongst chaos and then it gets overwhelming to the point I can’t finish anything. Cue feeling like a useless person for not managing energy and projects. With Bialik’s description of not living the life we want, it put these things in a bit more perspective for me. No one is useless, especially if we are in chaos. When we are trained to follow other people’s paths as the norm, we lose touch with that piece of ourselves that indicates what we want. If we don’t know who we are and what we want, then how can we ever express that?
I would love to advocate for a society that simply stands up and says, “No more,” to the way things are today. I’m not professing anarchy, but I AM professing a process of dropping some of the imposed order we’ve allowed into our lives for the “sake of the greater good.” As we unpack much of what’s happening today, we see elements of control and taming that further confuse finding who we are, thus contributing more to the confusion, anxiety, and depression many feel. While we can’t change the world overnight, we can work on changing the world for ourselves right now. Acknowledge and remember who we are, learn to believe in ourselves as much as we believed that the same path was meant for us, recognize what is inside of us and what calls to us—and the be brave enough to answer that call. The more we live aligned with what is for us, the better we feel—it is really that simple.