Monday, August 24, 2020

Let Me Speak - Zack

Personal Note: I’m really tired of saying “OK” when people ask me how I’m doing. I’m not really OK; I’m struggling. I’m doing fine professionally, but personally, I’m sad, lonely, anxious and isolated...and I’m an introvert. (Yes, introverts can get lonely). I know others are struggling as well. As alone as I may feel most of the time, I know that I’m not actually alone in this.

Sometimes I see these memes pop across my feed to promote mental health awareness. Maybe they do some good; I certainly hope so. But I think what might matter more is to just reduce the stigma of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. People need to be open about their struggles without fear of judgment.

For those that don’t know me well, I might appear to be thriving. Social media can be deceptive. We try to eat well, and I’m always coming up with ideas for weekend adventures. But it’s hard. I feel drained and on edge. And I just don’t know how to recharge my batteries.

I honestly don’t want anyone to worry about me. I just need to deal with my own crap in my own way. I may reach out to some of you, and while I really do appreciate others touching base with me from time to time, right now I’m just kind of spent. I’m grateful to have enough work to provide me with energy, focus and the opportunity to help other people deal with their problems. But immersing myself in work is not a long-range solution for me; in fact, it’s not a great short-term solution either.

The point of this post, to the extent there is one, is just to encourage anyone else who might be struggling to reach out. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to actually talk, but I’ll always listen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Let Me Speak - Hannah's Mother

I cannot be with her in person, but today is a very special day for the Duke family. This is the day, seven years ago, that Hannah Duke decided to recover from anorexia. I’ll post her reasons for choosing this date next. Of course, I hope everyone knows that it is a long and painful journey to get to that point, and afterwords, recovery is not linear.
Even now, she needs to be careful to maintain her mental health regarding her eating disorder. It can be triggered (mentally), not in behavior, by so many things. She lives in NYC, ground zero for eating disorders. Most of her friends have disordered eating. Many of her friends take 3-4 exercise classes A DAY, EVERY DAY, wearing their Apple watches to check their calories burned each hour.
Anorexic fashion models people the streets. And everywhere, people talk about food ad nauseum. Not in terms of how delicious something is, but is it “healthy," is it “good” food ,etc. all euphemisms for diet culture whether they know it or not. That would not trigger you maybe, but it sets off alarms in the minds of someone with disordered eating. I usually write how happy we are about Hannah’s recovery, but today, I thought it might be better to talk about her recovery. Hannah volunteers for NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association), talking to people who have called the hotline. She has become a resource for many friends who have this mental illness.
If you know somebody who needs help or someone to talk to, please let me know me and I’ll give them Hannah’s number.