I Have a Confession To Make.

I struggle with depression and anxiety. I’ve been on medication for years now. This isn’t my confession because I don’t really hide it—in fact I joke about my happy pills all the time. But it’s also something I’ve never really talked much about. I’m not ashamed of it—I know it’s the way my brain is wired and that I’m definitely not alone.

Lately I’ve been frustrated with the fact that I’ve been on these meds for so long, I work out and read books and surround myself with things that I love as much as I can…and it doesn’t seem to change. The anxiety level has definitely gone down–I can get on a plane now, which is a wonderful thing. Not every day is hard, but I still have some where it’s a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other. Honestly, I’ve come to terms with it all and have just learned to live with it.

My depression presents as overwhelm. I can get so overwhelmed by life in general that I can’t and don’t want to do anything. It makes me shut down. If I am hurt by something, it’s gone. I ain’t got time for that shit. This includes people. Sometimes it comes from a place of strength and taking care of myself—but often it comes from the fact that I just can’t go there anymore. I can’t be disappointed or let down one. more. time.

I can definitely point out reasons that contribute to feeling the way that I do:

  1. But of course, Childhood. No one’s is perfect, and I actually do look fondly back at my younger years with my mom, siblings, friends and involvement in music at school, but I do remember a distinct feeling of not loving myself and feeling alone no matter how many people I was surrounded by.

2.  An Overly-Creative Mind.  I am grateful to be so creative and I’ve had many fabulous experiences, but it does set one up for a life of struggle. Nothing is set in stone, you can’t just go out and get a job in Creative. For all the days I love doing so many different things, there are many where I’m just exhausted and long to just feel satisfied doing some kind of ‘normal’ and conventional career-type-thing. Yes, the suffering artist thing is real!!

3.  A Child With Special Needs. We are very very fortunate that our 17 year old son is as high functioning as he is, but he does have Asperger’s Syndrome which definitely comes with its own unique challenges.

I deal with not only the challenges for him as to how he’s going to get along in the world as he nears graduation, but to be perfectly and selfishly honest, the challenge it is for ME.

My son is incredibly smart–he just scored a 31 on his ACT, first try!!– but there are everyday life things that he struggles with, things most of us naturally absorb, and he is very much a loner. As far as I can tell, he’s perfectly happy that way. It is SO opposite of who I am, so it’s hard for me to relate to. As a worrisome parent, there is always a part of me that wonders if he really is lonely and doesn’t know how to express it.

I see all of the Facebook photos of other kids attending proms and Homecomings. Kids getting their driver’s licenses. Posts of parents lamenting about their kids making too much noise and stinking up the basement with their teenage sweat sock feet. How they are so over driving their kids here and there for this and that. I would LOVE to have those problems. And I know deep down that all of this sadness I feel is my OWN business, not his. I’m feeling how I would feel in these situations, as a lonely child, when more than likely he does not feel that way at all. But as a parent it is SO hard to remove yourself from the situation—to not project your own feelings and insecurities on them, and what YOU view as the perfect high school life. I wonder if that’s even possible??

Because my son is truly amazing, I’m sure he will eventually do great things and have the relationships that he needs. But because I am a parent, I worry about my son and how he will make it out in this scary world.

4. This Scary World. Oh my god, this world. Being an empathic, overly-sensitive person, the way of the world right now is enough to make me never want to get out of bed again. My overwhelming need for justice and authenticity is squashed again and again as I see the hypocrisy that is our so-called president, that is our government and country as a whole. My Pollyanna eyes have been opened to what the world really is, and just how many assholes it’s really made up of, and my squishy heart can barely take it. WHY DO YOU CARE if someone is different than you, I want to yell at the top of my voice. If they have different colored skin, believe in a different god or religion, want to have sex with someone of the same gender, what to BE a different gender? WHY THE FUCK DO YOU CARE??? And I know why they care. Because they are afraid. And I will never understand why someone is afraid of someone else being different than them. To be so threatened by what someone else does or is is beyond me. I just want everyone to get along. I try so hard not to live a life of fear, and I’m surrounded by people who fear. It’s suffocating.

5. A Husband With Cancer. Aak, the dreaded ‘C’ word! First off, I’m VERY grateful that my husband’s Multiple Myeloma diagnosis is only in what they call the ‘smoldering’ stage. This means he has all of the signs, but it’s not active yet. Eventually it will be, but we don’t know when. Fortunately, his doctor has no reason to believe that it won’t be years and years before it presents itself. My hubby has no side effects and feels no differently than he ever has, so it’s easy to forget that we are even dealing with it. But every 3 months he goes in to get his levels checked, and of course there is always that chance that something will change. Something like this does tend to hover like a little black cloud.

 I also have a sneaking suspicion that reaching that half of a century mark has a lot to do with these feelings coming to a head right now….I’ve noticed that many other women my age (and probably men, but none of them have told me) I know are feeling the same way. Maybe it’s a mortality thing—but wanting to simplify. Getting tired of the struggle. Life really is getting shorter and shouldn’t we know what we want and be done struggling by now?? Good grief!

None of these things I just mentioned are anything more than what other people deal with every day…and many people deal with a lot worse. I have a lot to be thankful for, so telling you all of this definitely is not a cry for help or an excuse for feeling down. 

But remember how I just mentioned that being authentic is really important to me? Here’s my confession:

While I know in my heart that advice I give and ideas that I write about are solid and true, here’s me admitting that I don’t always follow through on my own advice. I’ve done everything I’ve suggested that you do, but I still struggle to find my place in this world. I’m not always the ultimate Badass and I struggle with that role that I’ve somehow given myself, every goddamn day.

Look, I’ve worked through all of this shit enough to know that being a flawed person and even a flawed coach is actually ok—in fact, it’s good in some ways. It’s more relatable. Lord knows I can relate to others that feel this way. But when I’m struggling with ‘what do I do now???’ for the umpteenth time, I definitely don’t feel like a Badass, and it’s hard to feel like I have the authority to suggest to others how to succeed in their own lives.

I’m going to go with the fact that sometimes admitting your faults and flaws and how you aren’t perfect is Badass. Because I know it is. I tell other people that all the time, and I believe it.

I will continue to write my planner every year I am contracted to (yay, 2020 is almost done!) because, by Glob, even feeling the way I do I get out there and slash around wildly with my sword regardless. Every Fucking Day. Sometimes that’s all we can do. Try to get by and do the best we can, in the moment where we are RIGHT NOW. Right now I’m writing this out and it feels really good. Whether anyone reads this or not, it feels good to get it out, to come clean. And that’s Badass.

So! There it is! I’ve done great things, I have a lot of courage to get out there and try new things, I follow my heart and fall in love with things over and over again. I laugh a lot, make time for rest and play—hell, I probably play more than I should! I have and will continue to battle with my badly wired brain. In so many ways I am the luckiest girl in the world.

But —right now—struggling and needing so badly to have and be something real, something solid, needing to have and be unadulterated authenticity, I feel the need to be authentic with you.

I also have the sneaking suspicion that many of you feel like frauds at any given time in your lives, and if this indeed speaks to you at this particular moment, I’m hoping that my confession gives you some relief as well. Can we all just plop down on our asses, let out the air we’ve been holding uncomfortably in our lungs, relax our scrunched up shoulders and be okay with not having to fix it all or have it all figured out????

If you are still here, than let’s get through this shit together. Let’s be our fucking-flawed selves, faking it ‘till we make it, struggling through and sharing our victories and defeats. We can still call ourselves Badasses, one day at a time.

Do you struggle with any of this same stuff? How can I help? How can we help each other?

14 Comments

  1. Bridget Bone

    I too struggle with depression and anxiety. Although it is better their are days. I great measure happened for me at the end of the winter/spring. Remember we had that last Shitty fucking snowstorm. It took me under I was so depressed and was in a Eeyore kind of mood. The cloud of doubt and doom falling me everywhere. Then three days later it was over and I realized how far I had come. It helped me remember a time when I lived it had doubt and doom. I am better and the bad days are less. Never gone and always returns but leaves quicker. Now my big confusion. I am working with an eatting disorder clinic and I am on my way to not stuffing my feelings and learning Better to get my needs meet. By learning when to speak my truth and stand up for myself and when I am just living in old patterns of who I was. I have lost 25 pounds in one year nd an really proud of myself. It is a hard journey and it is one of the best things I have ever done. Right now I am in Japan with my family and my daughter and I are the heaviest people we see anywhere we go. This is so hard I want to feel bad and I am not good enough. I am fighting like hell to have fun and enjoy myself. Our article was so much of my feeling. Thanks for speaking your truth.

    • Susie Shubert

      Thank you for sharing this, Bridget. I’m so sorry you are dealing with stuff too, and I definitely think you are so strong to share, and to keep working at it! Like a Badass!!! We are all in this together!! XO

  2. Keath

    I had depression my whole life, and had no idea why. Things were pretty easy for me at school, I got to do the things I enjoyed. I was an only lonely, so I’m selfish and a little loud and very bossy. I got s plethura of jobs thanks to my mom who was a suit at U of I. But being raised by 2 women ( mom and Grammy) was tough so I moved out at 17. The depression finally disappeared after a brain surgery in 2010 at the age of 50, but the cancer came at 54, but happily I say there is no more depression, there is anxiety but this is new. But having stage 4 cancer, I look the same. I just get tired easier. And long for me to have the energy of my youth, the energy I still see some of my classmates own!‍♀️♥️

    • Susie Shubert

      Keath, you are certainly one of the strongest, most Badass people I am honored to know! I’m always amazed by your strength and ever-positive attitude. Thank you so much for your comment and for ALWAYS keeping it real. <3

  3. Perfect, and true, and heart wrenching. I’ve long wished I could build a little town and hand-pick the residents. My criteria? Love of animals, wicked sense of humor, kindness, creativity, inclusive belief system. You would be at the top of my list. I love you, Susie Shubert.

  4. Jeannene

    Thanks for sharing Susie. I struggle with so many of the things you talked about. My panic attacks are terrible. I can’t tolerate many medications so I just have to manage each attack as it happens.

    • Susie Shubert

      Ug, Jeannene–I’ve had one panic attack in my life and it was one too many…I’m SO sorry you deal with those. I also have a hard time tolerated a lot of meds, so I understand that pain too! You have so much strength to get through those on your own! Thanks so much for commenting and sharing that, and your sweet support. <3

  5. Kelly Jo Eldredge

    Susie, you have been badass since high school, and I know you will rock on for at least the next 50 years! Thanks for your wisdom and your willingness to tell the truth. I relate to a lot of what you’ve said. I think I spend much of my life wondering when people are going to figure out I have no fucking clue what I’m doing! One of my favorite quotes is, “We’re all just walking each other home.” (I think it’s attributed to Ram Dass, but who the hell cares?) I love that we get stronger when we learn to be vulnerable–ask for help and give help. Pretty cool.

    • Susie Shubert

      Hi Kelly Jo! That IS a great quote, and YES. Strength is in vulnerability for sure. Because it’s a lot tougher to put yourself out there unapologetically than it is to just go along, pretending to be what you think others want you to be. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, and for your support. <3

  6. Lisa L

    Wonderfully genuine and raw post. I too have struggled with depression (and now anxiety) since I was a wee child. I have never felt truly happy, worthy, loved, even when I know there are folks that do love me and think that I am “enough”. I can be with one person, a room full of people, and even my family, and I feel like a poser, happy-to-lucky, comical, caring, and wise.
    I tend to think that I know what caused most of my issues. But if one knows, why is it so hard to change?
    Anyhoo, I’ve loved your blogs for years. Continue to be your own genuine self! I appreciate your words of wisdom and strength. ❤️

    • Susie Shubert

      Hi Lisa, thank you, thank you for this–and I’ve appreciated your loving care all of these years! You always take the time to voice your support and it means so much to me.
      This day and age, I think most of us that deal with this kind of thing know what contributes to our struggle, but you’re right–it sheds some light, and understanding is always helpful–but it doesn’t make it all just go away. It’s constant, vigilant work–and that gets exhausting, doesn’t it?
      I’m glad you know in your heart that you are enough and that people love you–when I’m in a dark time I just try to remind myself that everything I’m feeling is in my head. That doesn’t mean it’s not real…(shades of Dumbledore here!)…but it does help me to know that my brain is the imposter, not me. I hope that helps you, too. XOXO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.