“Let’s Talk” about MY “bout” with Clinical Depression

 In Health, Personal Development, Professional Development, Relationships, TOP 5, Uncategorized
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Depression
I heard that word for the first time about 3 years ago.
I am pretty sure that I had heard that word many times before then,
but I had really not paid much attention to that word before then.
So, why? you might ask, did I suddenly decide to start paying more attention to that word 3 years ago.
Well, turns out that,
I was paying a lot more attention to it because,
someone had just told me that it sounded like I had gone through a period of depression in my life.
Supposedly a couple of years prior to that day, about 3 years ago.
Who? ME? Depressed?
More specifically, the term that that someone used to describe ME was “clinically depressed”.

Interesting.
I did not realize that you could diagnose something like depression after the fact.
I did not realize that one could be clinically depressed and not be aware of it.
But if anyone could diagnose it, I felt like this person could.
This person is, who I refer to in my blogs as, my relationship counsellor.
Our discussions were all about improving relationships.
All of them, including, and most importantly, my relationship with myself.
She also does marriage counselling,
But since I decided to see her after my marriage ended,
when I was no longer married,
I find it more appropriate to refer to her as MY relationship counsellor.
She also happens to be a credentialed and very experienced therapist and psychologist.
So, I figured, she must know a thing or two about clinical depression.

I can’t think of a better day to share this blog (a.k.a. story) with you than today,
January 25, Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day.
I am thankful to the folk or folk(s) at Bell who decided to help provide visibility and, yes, money $$$
to help create awareness for this illness.
Yes, illness.
Mental illness.
God forbid that, I, David Arthur Walker, suffered from a mental illness.
That can’t be.
That just does not resonate. 🙁
Well guess what, I am pretty sure that she is right.
I have been giving it a lot of thought lately.
It was one of the first topics that I added to my blog database.
Although I was aware that it was an important topic for me to explore,
The timing just never seemed right.
I was not ready yet.

Well, when I heard on the radio the other day that Bell had come up with a “lets talk” day and it was coming up on January 25, I saw that as the perfect catalyst.
It did not hurt to find out that one of my heroes (or role models) was also part of the initiative.
Coincidentally, I had just bought her book a couple of weeks ago. 🙂
I thought it might help inspire me with mine. 🙂
I find her very inspirational, not because of what she has accomplished in her life,
Although what she accomplished was quite the accomplishment. 🙂
I find her inspirational because she has had the courage to share her story of mental illness,
And she has a lot more readers than me.
Including one more now.
ME 🙂
But back to ME, the blog writer.

One of MY first thoughts when I became aware that I might have been clinically depressed
was to be thankful that I had not been aware of it at the time.
It, depression, sounds like a nasty thing to go through.
It, depression, sounds painful. Really painful. 🙁
That desire to avoid and/or deny does not surprise me now.
Sounds like my thought process at the time.
If you are not aware of it, it can’t hurt you.
It will eventually go away.
All by itself.
Or, so I thought.
Or, so I hoped.

I am grateful and thankful that I am no longer suffering.
Suffering from a mental illness.
But at the same time, I am intrigued and curious to better understand what I went through.
In that way, my hypothesis is that I can avoid going through it again.
In coaching school, they brain washed us into believing that awareness is 9/10th of the battle
In this case the battle is against a powerful foe.
And apparently, I am not the only one battling it.
A lot of people have, or had, or will, or are suffering from clinical depression.
And a lot of them are suffering a lot more than I ever did.
A lot of people are no longer with us because they lost the battle.
So, if I can help shed some light on this topic and the outcome is that I can help others overcome or avoid it by sharing my story, then I am grateful that I have this opportunity to do so.

I am grateful to myself for having found the courage to move forward and overcome my depression.
I am grateful for the support of others around me who supported me as I developed that courage.
I am grateful for the support of others around me who continue to support me.
There are a lot of them to thank, as one would expect, after undergoing such a journey.
I will be forever grateful to them.

It is to them and all the others who have gone out of their way to help others who are suffering from this terrible mental illness that I dedicate this blog.

I started off this blog (actually, this one is more like a book :))
by mentioning that I do not remember feeling depressed at the time.
I am not sure that is true.
I do believe that I was aware of it at the time,
but I have chosen not to remember.
Actually, one of the core competencies that I developed at the time was not remembering.
Not worrying.
Not feeling.
Not feeling depressed.
Not feeling anything.
That was easy to do.
All it required was not to think about it.
If I did not think about it, then I would not have to deal with it.
Shut off my emotions and I would not have to feel any pain.

In order to do so, I developed a number of methodologies and tools to support me in that goal.
Yes folks, I was a consultant at the time, hence the terms methodology and tools. 🙂
One of my methodologies was what I referred to as a depression lunch.
The picture that I have chosen for this blog is a picture of my favourite depression lunch hang out.
In the picture, you can see my favourite lunch table.
It was hidden away so that no one would see me and come talk to me and engage with me.
I did not want to engage with anyone so the more isolated the table the better.

You can also see my favourite meal. Yum. Yum.
Having a little (actually a lot) of comfort food nearby was quite helpful in making me feel more,
Well, let’s just say, comfortable.
As the picture depicts, quite the calorie count. And that was just lunch.
Add a huge dinner and lots of snacks and the chocolate bars and chips before bed
Combined with practically no exercise in my life whatsoever and a lot of booz
(more on the booz methodology to come later in this blog)
and you can see how I became physically OBESE pretty quickly.
Obese. Oh well, nothing a little Crestor could not fix.
Hello Meds and Bye-Bye bad cholesterol and hello good cholesterol.
And MY out of whack sugar levels.
My doctor said I was pre-diabetic, not diabetic.
So, no need to worry about that one.
Not Yet.

And last but not least, the real genius around the approach, the newspaper.
Can you see the newspaper on the corner of the table?
What better way to take your mind off of reality than reading the news?
O.k. Watching the news on TV works just as well, but there were no TVs in this foodcourt.

So, that is what I did,
Depression lunches.
Day in and day out.
At first, they were 1 hour lunches and then they became 2 hour lunches.
Was I productive at those times? No.
Was I more productive when I headed back to the office?
Probably. Hard to be less productive.
But you can just imagine my energy level in those times.
Not really overly conducive to doing some of my best work and contributing to others.
Did anyone notice?
Did anybody care?
It was like when I used to smoke.
No one knew.
Not even my wife.
I can hide anything.
If they gave out awards for hiding and isolating oneself in the Olympics, there is no doubt in mind,
that I would be up there on the podium.

Unfortunate, really.
In hindsight, I now know that, for me anyways,
connecting with others in order to gain positive energy is what got me through those tough times.
Gaining positive energy by sharing with other caring and loving human beings.
And here I was doing the exact opposite. 🙁
My methodology, and my flawless execution of it,
were actually draining me of energy.

Before I share with you how I was able to gain the strength to overcome my depression,
I just wanted to share 2 more methodologies that I used to use to deal with my dilemma.

The first additional methodology and tool kit had similar effect as reading the news.
I was and I still am, a big movie buff.
If I could escape by reading the news, think of what I could accomplish by watching movies.
I could actually escape in them.
Escape from my pain.
Escape from my life.
Escape from others.
Except for my kids.
They could join me.
They like movies as well.
Besides, I liked the feeling of my daughter laying on me while we watched them.
I like having my son close by while we watched them together.

And guess what?
I had a lot of movies.
Hundreds and Hundreds.
At last count, I have 997 movies and/or TV series.
If you were to watch 1 per day
Let’s say, on average, 2.0 hours of viewing per day.
365 days a year.
It would take you 2.96 years to view them all.
Not bad as an escape, eh?
2hrs per day for 3 years.
Good coverage buddy 🙁

The second methodology and tool kit I had lots of as well.
And that is booz.
I had a mini fridge next to my larger fridge in my kitchen.
It could hold plenty of beer.
I had a wine fridge in my movie room.
Yes, my movie room.
In my basement.
Far away from everyone.
No windows, so nice and dark.
Good thing the fridge, and a wine rack, were close,
because before you knew it I was putting down a couple bottles on many nights.
I mentioned earlier my newfound aversion to exercise, so having quick access to my next glass of wine was a godsend. No effort or exercise required.
It was right there in the room.
I can’t believe that I never had the idea of putting in a washroom down there.
Just think of all the trips to the washroom.
Oh well, look on the bright side,
I did not have to invest in a stair master 🙁

What was I thinking?
As I mentioned previously,
I was not thinking.
That was my approach.
Don’t think.
Don’t deal with it.
Don’t confront it.
Isolate yourself.
And wait or hope that it goes away.
In hindsight,
That approach did not serve me well. 🙁

I wish I had known then what I know now.
Maybe my coaching peers are right?
Maybe awareness is 9/10th of the battle?
Or in this case 9/10th of my story?
So, let’s get on with that story.

First off, a bit of research (a.k.a. google search).
What are the symptoms of clinical depression?
The more I understand them,
the more aware I will be of their presence if and when they try and strike again.

Secondly, a bit of reflection.
How did I ever get the energy to get out of that nasty space that I was living my life in back then?
What was the catalyst?
Was there one or several?
How did I do it?
Who helped me?

THE RESEARCH

Here are the results of my google search:

Part 1: The symptoms

On one site that I landed on, it stated that:

“For clinical depression, you must have five or more of the following symptoms over a two-week period, most of the day, nearly every day. At least one of the symptoms must be either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure”

O.k. Lets see if I had five?
Remember now, I am doing this from memory.
Remembering feelings from a period in my life during which I was doing my best to shut them out.
Not an easy task.
But here goes ….

Per the site..

“Signs and symptoms may include:

  1. Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability)
  2. Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected
  4. Insomnia or increased desire to sleep
  5. Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy
  7. Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  8. Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt

Your symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities.

Symptoms may be based on your own feelings or on the observations of someone else”

O.k. So how did I stack up?

#1 Depressed Mood
Definitely 🙁
Check!

#2. Feeling no pleasure
I was trying not to feel anything.
Although I found watching the movies pleasurable,
I had a buzz on half the time, so not sure that counts.
I can’t remember anything else floating my boat at the time.
Watching football all day long does not count either since fueled by beer.
Feeling no pleasure.
Check!

Re #3. Weight Gain
Just take a look at my before and after pictures on my website for this one.
I was up to 264 pounds at my heaviest on Jan 1, 2011 (BMI of 33.0).
I was at 260 (BMI of 32.5) in 2003.
Looks like the weight gain started prior to my depression.
Interesting.
Depression lunches probably kept that trend going.
Check!
BTW. My shirt size got up to an XL at the time. 🙁
I am now a medium. 🙂

Re #4. Trouble sleeping
Trouble sleeping?
I usually hit the sack around 1am and got up around 5:30am
Not lots of time for insomnia.
I am also sure the booz had some sort of effect on my sleep patterns as well.
Can you say “sugar high” 🙁
But if there is anything that I do remember from that time,
it was the insomnia.
And waking up, often, during the night and in the morning,
Soaking wet.
My sheets and pillow were so wet that you could wring them out.
Check!

Re #5 Slowed behavior that can be observed by others
Good question.
I thought I did a great job of hiding my condition from others so my first inclination is to say no.
But apparently, I had not.
When I finally decided that it was time to end my pain,
in the only way I could think of,
which was to just quit my job,
I had nothing else lined up but that did not matter.
Something had to give.
So, when I finally decided to go hand in my resignation to the person who had hired me in the first place,
before the first words could roll out of my mouth,
she told me that she had observed that I was no longer myself.
She had been thinking of a better role that might be a better fit for me recently.
She had an idea to help me out.
Wow. How cool.
How considerate
And in my case,

How timely.
Good thing I was not as good at hiding things as I thought I was.
Check!

#6 Loss of Energy
Expanding a bit on my story in #5 above.
One thing that I was aware of at the time was that my role at work was no longer a fit.
It was like wearing size 5 shoes when my feet were size 11.
Ouch!
Yet, I could not do anything to deal with it.
I had no energy left.
None.
I was stuck.
Check!

#7. Feelings of worthlessness
Not sure about this one.
If it were fear to leave my comfort zone, I would give it a check.
Look up afraid to leave one’s comfort zone in the dictionary and,
My picture will appear. 🙁
But did I feel worthless?
I don’t think that I did.
I had enough caring and loving people around me to help me on this one.
I am thankful.
And grateful to them.
I tried to isolate myself from them but seems like they would have nothing of it. 🙂
NO Check! 🙂

#8 Trouble making decisions
Hard to make decisions,
good decisions or otherwise, when you decide to pretty much shut down your brain.
And for those who believe that you make decisions with your heart,
Well, I had shut down both my brain and my heart.
Check!

#9 Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt
Not once.
Never.
Never even crossed my mind.
Never even came close.
For that, I am grateful.
I cannot even imagine how much pain one must be feeling to get that low.
NO Check!

7 Checks! 🙁
2 NO Checks! 🙂
I can now see how one might speculate or infer that I might have been clinically depressed.
Although My Myers Briggs is ENTP, “the DEBATER”,
I am not sure I want to debate this one.
The results, or Checks, seem to speak for themselves. 🙁

Part 2: The Triggers

What Triggers Major Depression?
Some common triggers or causes of major depression that I came across as part of my research include:

  • Loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or separation
  • Social isolation or feelings of being deprived
  • Major life changes — moving, graduation, job change, retirement
  • Personal conflicts in relationships, either with a significant other or a superior
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

Let’s see. Which applied to ME?

Loss of a loved one
I had not lost a loved one.
But unfortunately, I was losing a loved one at the time.
My Mother was dying of lung cancer.
I tried to spend as much time as I could with her.
She was one of my best friends.
Unfortunately, even though I was physically present, I was not present mentally nor emotionally.
In hindsight, I now realize that this evil illness deprived me of spending time with someone I loved.

Social isolation or feelings of being deprived
I was isolated all right.
But had I become isolated before becoming depressed or had isolated myself after?
Kind of chicken or egg question.

Major life changes — moving, graduation, job change, retirement
Wearing a size five shoe size in my role at work when I had a size 11 foot.
I can still remember how that one felt.
Not good. 🙁
I now have a better appreciation of the importance of a snug fitting pair of shoes (a.k.a. job).

Personal conflicts in relationships, either with a significant other or a superior
I am pretty sure that avoiding conflicts does not equate with not having any.
As my relationship counsellor likes to say,
“communication to a relationship is like water to a plant”.
My plants were drying up and withering all around me,
and I was busy trying my best not to notice.

Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
No physical or sexual abuse.
Again, I am so thankful and grateful to have never experienced something so terrible.
On the emotional side.
One could make the argument that I was emotional abusing myself?
If so, it was not intentional so I struggle to call it abuse.
By the same rationale, I don’t remember any abuse from anyone else at the time.
But then again, how would I know?
I was shutting all of that out.

Alright,
I think that I have covered off where I was in plenty of detail.
So now, if you are still with me. (I know this is long). 🙂
I would like to share with you how I was able to get out of that terrible place.
That terrible, lonely, painful place.
And, also, how I have been able to stay out.

Changing Course: MY TAKE-AWAYS
For those of you who are regular readers of my blogs,
I like to come up with top 5 lists.
Sometimes top 10 lists à la David Letterman.
In this case, I have come up with a top 2 list.

I still have a lot of reflecting to do on this subject.
Lots more learning to be gleaned.
But I thought for this initial pass that I would bundle my insights and ideas into just TWO.
Two themes.
Two buckets.
One that is all about ME.
And, One that is all about those people who helped ME.

So here you go,

My Top 2 Take-Aways: How I overcame MY bout with clinical depression
(both making the change and maintaining it)

Take Away #1: HOW I WAS ABLE TO HELP MYSELF
Take self-care of yourself!
The mental YOU!
And the PHYSICAL YOU!
Easy to say but,
Often, hard to do.
There are so many people counting on YOU.
Taking time for ME can often be perceived as taking away time for THEM.

What I have experienced and read and observed is that,
Many people seem to have an issue with taking time for self-care.
Often, under the mistaken belief that it is a selfish thing to do.
For me, it was an essential part of the equation in helping me overcome
not only my depression,
but in deciding to once again believe that I could lead a fulfilling life,
if I wanted to.
The choice was mine.

A lot of what I now know, I did not know back then.
Things seem so much clearer to me now than they did back then.
The past few years have provided me with time to reflect.
Based on that recollection, this is how I think that things transpired.

I decided to take care of myself.
I was suffering.
I was suffering alone.
And then one day I decided that the suffering had to end.
It was time to leave my job even though,
others were telling me that I should find something else first.
I decided to go against their advice and end the suffering.

It is as if the oxygen mask on the plane had fallen out of the overhead compartment.
I was ready to take it and breath from it and I did.
Turns out, that was just what the doctor ordered.
Although my problems were much broader than just my career quadrant at the time,
Being able to at least get moving on this one front was all it took to get me going.
It provided me with an opportunity to start building, or re-building, the self confidence
and energy that I required to move forward.

Perfect timing because the other shoe was about to fall.
And about a year after this period, it did.
My marriage came to an end.
An abrupt end.
In hindsight, I can’t tell you how grateful I am now that I had taken that first puff of oxygen,
from the oxygen mask, when it came down the previous year.
When it came down again for a second time about 6 months later,
I did not hesitate to grab it once more.

I still remember and think back upon the day when it dropped for that second time.
I have a full-length mirror in front of my bed at home.
Every morning I got up and started my day by looking at this obese person staring back at me.
Pretty nasty way to start the day but I had gotten used to it.
On the positive side, it was a good reminder (catalyst) to take my Crestor pills. 🙁
After all, it was because of my obesity that I was taking them.
I was also pre-diabetic, so more pills to come.

But that morning, a different thought came to me.
At first, a realization.
The realization that if I do not start taking better care of myself, I will not be around for much longer.
My son was 9 at the time and my daughter 7.
I was going to leave them without a father at a very young age.
I believe that was the real catalyst for my change
I realized that I had a choice.
Continue on my current path and die and leave my children without a father.
Or, take care of myself.

At the same time, or what felt like the same time,
I also decided that I was fed up.
Fed up of giving up on life.
I was sick and tired of crossing off the days on the calendar.
I wanted to live.
Truly live.
Truly enjoy life.
And that is when the oxygen mask came down again, for the second time,
3 masks this time.
I took the first one and strapped it to my mouth first,
as I remember the instructions as communicated to me every time I took an airplane,
The other 2 masks were for my 2 beautiful children.
So, although there were many other important people in my life that I wanted to be close with.
Including many of my family members and friends who I had become isolated from.
Not to mention finding my hoped for future soulmate / life partner.
Well, they would have to wait.
My first task was to take care of myself.
Take care of myself before I could take of the others.
After all …
It is really hard to take care of others until you take care of yourself.
Really hard!

Although my journey to self care started on the physical side,
Including the loss of close to 1/3 of my body mass (or 100 pounds of fat).
The emotional and mental and spiritual dimensions were also huge enables,
in both making and maintaining the change.
But, I think that I needed the energy that came from a healthy body in order to
build a healthy mind, and heart and eventually soul.
I am not sure that I would have had the energy to make my change without the energy
that a healthy body can provide.

Brings new meaning to the title of one of my favourite books,
“Eat, Move, Sleep”.
Oh, and I will add, “inhale” to the mix.
Inhaling the oxygen from the self-care mask when it falls.
Oh, and I will also add “Connect” to the mix.
Although making the required changes in my life were up to me and me alone,
up to me to both choose and execute on,
the journey was a whole lot easier with the help and support of others.
The others were the same people that I had been shutting out only a couple of years previously.
A nice lead-in to my next take away, allowing others into my life in order to help me.

But before we start that one
You might want to take a quick bathroom break now 🙂 (this is one long blog :))
I will leave you with one last story to wrap up this section

When I went for my most recent annual physical with my doctor a few months ago,
To the same doctor who has been encouraging me to make healthy changes over the past 10 years.
The same one that I have been ignoring for the past 10 years,
He smiled at me.
And asked me a question.
He asked me whether I recognize myself when I wake up in the morning?
I smiled back at him and I said,
I sure do not. 🙂
And you cannot believe how grateful and thankful I am for that.

Take Away #2: HOW OTHERS WERE ABLE TO HELP ME
Surround yourself with positive energy!
Positive thoughts!
Positive people!
Just a suggestion, but wow,
Did it ever work for me.

In coaching they teach us that we cannot tell people what they should do.
We can challenge. We can suggest.
So, I suggest that you try and avoid what I did.
Which was the polar opposite of surrounding myself with the energy from others.
I isolated myself.
So, I suggest to you.
I implore you.
Don’t go down that route.
Take it from me.
Been there. Done that.
And quite frankly, it sucks
It is a lonely, painful place, full of pain and suffering.
For you and your loved ones.
But in the end the choice is yours.

One of my favourite books is “How full is Your Bucket” by Tom Rath.
In it, he explains the importance of giving and receiving positive recognition with and from others.
Receiving positive recognition from those around you helps fill up your “bucket” of positive energy.
A full bucket, he argues, can have a significant positive impact on our “relationships, productivity, health and longevity”.
You can also fill your bucket by filling the buckets of others.
You can probably easily guess how full my bucket was at the time. 🙁
Hard to give and/or receive positive words of recognition when you are consciously isolating yourself.
My bucket runneth over these days 🙂
It feels great.
So, much so that I have focused my methodologies and tool building on bucket filling these days.

In another of my favourite books, “The Happiness Equation”, by Neil Pasricha,
the author shares a very interesting and powerful concept.
“YOU are the average of the five people that YOU hang around with”.
As he states it, “YOU are the average of their positivity, YOU are the average of their creativity, YOU are the average of their ambition”.
Once I made the choice to move forward with my life,
I made a conscious effort to focus more and more of my time
with people who provided me with positive energy.

I made a conscious effort to spend less time, and even no time, with those who drained my energy.
I use the word consciously because I felt very self-aware of how important this concept was.
So, I approached my interactions with others with my positive energy antenna fully deployed.
Although I truly believe that deep down inside everyone is loving and whole,
there are people with whom my interactions drain my energy.
And, unless I want the oxygen mask to come down again,
they unfortunately cannot be a part of my life.
At least, not until that time, when there is no longer an energy drain.

Easier said than done.
We often hear the stories of that great feeling of relief that some people get once they quit the job with the toxic boss. Or,
End an association with a toxic colleague. Or,
Fire a toxic client, Or
Etc..

But sometimes, the relationship that we must end or temporarily suspend is with someone that we very much love and care for.
Unfortunately, sometimes, despite both of your best intentions, your energy is being drained.
It is in those instances where it is much more difficult decision to let someone go.
They are not toxic, they are loving and caring and beautiful people.
At the time, you often do not know whether it will be temporary or permanent,
you just realize that it is the right thing for YOU to do,
at least for now.

So, there you have them.
My top 2 take-aways.

I hope that sharing them and this story with you was helpful in allowing you to better understand depression and the impact that it can have on someone and their family.
I also hope that you are now more aware that it can happen to anyone, at any time, including YOU.

I also hope that you are now more aware that it can be beaten.
It might take some time and lots of love and lots of courage,
but it can be beaten.
I am living and walking (and storytelling) proof.
It is well worth the battle.
And I can tell you, (o.k. not tell but share)
having been on both ends of the spectrum,
l much prefer the fulfilling life side of things. 🙂

I am so thankful and grateful that I took a hold of that oxygen mask when it dropped.
I am so thankful and grateful to have so many loving and caring people in my life.
In MY life, and the lives of my beautiful children, and my family and my friends
and my clients and my colleagues.
I am spoiled. 🙂

So, that is ME.
What about YOU?

What can you do to help?
Help yourself if you are suffering?
And /or
Help others who may be suffering?

I know what I can do.
But first, I have an idea what of what Bell can do. 🙂
They are already donating 5 cents per text today, which I thank and commend them for.
I am not sure how much they are pledging for blogs today but how about $1,000.00 for mine?
I could propose a donation based on the number of words in this blog but that might bankrupt them. 🙂
I will reach out to someone at Bell and see if they would consider this idea.

In the meantime, I will continue to try and make a difference by sharing my story.
I encourage others to do so as well
Let’s end this stigma.
Let’s make it easier for people with depression and other mental illnesses to reach out to others and themselves for the energy to help them overcome their pain.

I will continue to write and share through my storytelling.
In this case my writing.
But it is also time to take it up a notch and share it by speaking.
Public speaking. And,
Professional speaking.
I am a professional speaker yet I have not spoken on this topic.
I would like to change that.
So, I pledge a minimum of $1,000 in the equivalent of my time as a professional speaker, matching the potential Bell contribution, to speak on behalf of organizations or groups whose audiences can benefit from my story, at no charge.

This should not be a difficult pledge to honour since the local chapter of my professional speaking association, the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, is looking into just such an initiative to benefit my community in Montreal.
And they are looking for volunteers to donate their time in doing so.
Well look no further,
here I am. 🙂

Now if you don’t mind, I am going to honour Clara Hughes and her courage to share her experience with depression with Canada and the World by reading some more of her book that I mentioned that I recently bought, “Open Heart Open Mind”. 🙂

Oh, and this just came in as I was writing this (at 9:02am on January 22, my birthday!)

Someone from my linked-in network just shared this little inspirational quote.

As a storyteller, I can’t think of a better little birthday present 🙂

“Don’t close the book when bad things happen in your life, just turn the page and begin a new chapter”

 

Well that’s it folks

Cheers

Dave

Looking at making a positive CHANGE in YOUR Life?
What would that change be?

MAKING THAT CHANGE A REALITY!

Make that change a reality and explore Life Coaching at the same time by participating in my “Life Coaching with Dave Experience”.  A great opportunity to experience Life Coaching in a very timely and cost-effective way. The details are on MY website in the 1to1 Coaching Section.

And NO, that is not a typo in the $ rate of the offering. It looks low because it is. I am really trying to encourage YOU and others to give Life Coaching a try.

http://davewcoachingandstorytelling.com/coach/life-coaching-with-dave-experience/

 

References used in this Blog:

What does the term “clinical depression” mean? Answers from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770

Bell Let’s Talk site (nice picture of Clara :))
http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

How full is your bucket by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
Apparently “65% of the American workforce received no recognition last year”. Not sure I can help close the “American workforce recognition gap” but I have personally upped my game in giving recognition and “filling up the buckets” of those I connect with. My kids in particular are benefiting from some extra “positive” reinforcement these days. I have to agree with the authors. Give and you will receive. My bucket runneth over.

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha
One of my favourites. Gives new meaning to the word “Retirement” and approaches to responding to emails. The 168 hour work week is another eye opener. Lots of ideas and concepts to consider, each presented in only a few pages. So, take a peek at the book. What are you waiting for? “Just Do it!” 🙂

 

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