When I encounter someone that I think is killing it at whatever it is that they do, my normal reaction is to immediately dive in and try to pick apart their process. What apps are they using? Where do they get their information? What blogs do they read? When do they post updates? How frequently? And on and on. Your head would spin if you saw me in action.
I dive into the minutiae. The little details. I take apart everything and I probably end up spending more time analyzing their process than they do. Why? Because they are focused on “doing” things. They’re creating content and giving it to the world. They are succeeding — or at least giving themselves a chance for success — because they’re putting it out there. They write something and share it. They don’t get too caught up in how they’re making things happen, they just make them happen.
I’m going to join them soon, I swear, just as soon as I figure out a good workflow. I still need to research a couple more writing apps and figure out the best time to tweet out my blog posts. Of course, I haven’t written many of those yet, but I will when I’m done figuring all that other stuff out. Then I need to think about whether I should schedule that tweet once I write the post, or just send it out natively? Oh boy, more research to do.
Don’t worry, I finally realized I’m insane. I don’t know if I can stop, but at least I’m aware now. Why am I like this? Probably because it feels comfortable and productive. It feels like I’m “doing” but I’m really not. But it’s safe, and no one can tell you that the work you’re producing isn’t any good. The problem is that no one can tell you they actually like the work you’re doing, either.
No one that ever got anywhere in life was worried about what people think about the work they’re doing. Doers don’t have the time to worry about such things. They’re too busy. I’m going to try to join them.
If you’re like me, let’s talk about it.
Three years ago today, Robin Williams killed himself. It was a shocking and sad end to a life devoted to bringing other people happiness and laughter. Since then many other celebrities have committed suicide as well. Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park are the most recent examples
These celebrity deaths always get a lot of attention, but there’s a lot of suffering out there you don’t hear as much about. 132,000 other Americans have committed suicide since Robin Williams death. Is that a lot? It seems like more than a lot to me, but numbers can be hard to wrap the mind around. They can be unfathomable, like the distance between galaxies. So let’s put it another way: suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America today. It doesn’t have to be.
Anxiety disorders like depression affect 40 million adults in the United States. That’s about 1 out of every 5. And only about one-third of those seek out and receive treatment.
That’s not good, and it tells me we’re still dealing with stigma around mental health in this country. We have to get over that. You know someone who is suffering. I do. For many of us it’s our spouse, our child, our mom or our dad. They want help. They may not know how to ask for it.
People suffering from depression can’t tackle it by themselves. They can’t wish their sadness away, or tell themselves to cheer up. They aren’t choosing to feel this way, and their mental illness is not their fault. It’s a real disease with real symptoms requiring real treatment. It’s no different from heart disease or cancer. When you have it, you need to go see a professional.
And like heart disease and cancer, there are plenty of treatments available. There are things you can do to fight back and overcome, but you need help and support.
Reach out and help someone
If you know someone suffering, reach out. They need to know they’re not alone, they’re loved, and there’s help available. It may be tough. It may seem like your efforts aren’t appreciated. They are. Be bold, the person you’re thinking about right now in your head is worth the trouble.
And if you’re the one suffering, please reach out to someone. You need to know you’re not alone, you’re loved, and there’s help available. It may be tough, and it may seem like your efforts aren’t going anywhere, but you’re worth the trouble.
If you want to know more about depression, this Psychology Today article is a good place to start. It tackles many of the common misconceptions about depression.
If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273-TALK (8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The calls are confidential.