How Amy Got Her Groove Back

by Amy on November 19, 2014

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A few weeks ago I disclosed something that a lot of life coaches don’t admit…

Depression.

Some people say this “label” is unhelpful.

I actually disagree.

Call it what you want, telling the truth about how I was feeling instead of denying it or hiding it helped me to figure out what I needed to do to feel better.

There are days when I feel grumpy, irritable, sad, and ashamed … But depression is a whole different animal. I’ve had it a few times in my life.

What You Resist Persists

The first time I had it, I resisted the shit out of it. Instead of admitting it, I got drunk, I smoked, and I made other shitty decisions that I’m not at all proud of. That bout lasted a couple years. Now I can see why.

The second time I had it (very early in my career as a coach) I tried to use “thought work” (thought work is a tool coaches learn to re-evaluate limiting thoughts). Little did I know that this was a sneaky way to resist reality disguised as a more evolved way of handling my “issues.” I couldn’t understand why the thought work wasn’t making me feel any better! Until I got it (duh!) I wasn’t feeling my feelings.

I Let it IN

But this time, I let it in. I listened. I admitted it to thousands of people via this post.

And something unexpected happened. I quickly started to feel better. I made some big scary decisions in my business. I did some things to create space and freedom in my life. I ugly cried in front of a friend.

And this is what I learned:

1) You Really ARE As Sick As Your Secrets.

There were times when I really needed to talk to someone. The old me hated to cry in front of other people. The new me learned that I could let my people see me cry. My friend reminded me things about myself that I would have completely overlooked had I not been willing to let her see how much I was hurting. And I would have suffered so much deeper and longer.

2) It’s Okay to Be Human

Stop hiding. You are NOT perfect! If you aspire to be helpful to others, you have to be willing to tell the truth about yourself. [Tweet that!]

Too many of us deny our own humanity through perfectionism. Thank god for my depression because I can talk to you about it. I have the experience to help.

3) When You Take Away the Quick Fixes Your Shit Comes Up (It’s a Good Thing)

It’s been a year since I’ve had a drink. Alcohol and I had a special bond. It was my protective membrane. And once it was gone I started to see just how sensitive (read: empathic) I truly am. Now that I know this about myself I’ve started to learn some ways to cope without booze. One trick is to just say, “no thank you” to anyone who enters my space with crappy energy.

“No thank you.” (When you don’t want that energy.)

“Yes please.” (When you want more of that good juju.)

Try it!

Amazing how fast the dark, heavy cloak of depression, what Karla McLaren calls the “stop sign of the soul,” lifted when I took the time to tune in and ask for help.

And now check it out.

 

I got my groove back! (Shout out to my friends Sherold Barr, Helen MacMillan and Cheryl Binnie)

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rae November 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Those are some grooves you’ve got going on, Amy! Thanks for sharing – and glad to have you back in my inbox! Enjoy your retreat.

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Amy November 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Than you Rae. I thought you’d like them 🙂 Forgot to thank my friends Sherold, Helen and Cheryl for the help!

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Susan November 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

So happy for you! You are one of the best gifts in my life this year. Thank you, for being you.

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Amy November 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Thank YOU Susan. Your sweet comment made my day! Week! Year!

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Corinna November 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Nice dance 🙂
It is great that you are feeling better and more energetic (obviously).
I agree, the best thing to do when having depression is accepting that you are sick and getting help. But for me it is not always easy to accept that I need help and to allow myself to be sick. I think there is still a lot of stigma around mental illnesses of all kind. I have to admit that the coaching industry isn’t particularly helpful in this regard. It is not just thoughts and although I find thought work helpful when I am moving out of depression, when being really depressed I didn’t find it helpful at all.

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Ginger November 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Hey, Amy,
Thanks so much for writing this–it is huge. I have also experienced depression both in acute and chronic, low level forms for which I’ve had umpteen years of excellent therapy–and I have been sober for 21 years. I’m a MB certified coach and just got certified as a KMCC creativity coach. You’d think I’d HAVE NO ISSUES! Hahhahahahahah! I just had a big, ol’ shame attack last week. And I was able to turn it into a material for a class I’m teaching with Lauren Russo, called Lean Inner. That is itself a miracle. That my shame isn’t shaming anymore, but a way of connecting with other people, letting them know it’s okay to have a weekend of cinnamon buns and Columbo re-runs, because shame can come visit me and stay in the guest house, but then it just needs to move on. It is the dark side of my creativity and my sensitivity and without it I would be a sucky writer and coach. What a tremendous gift that you have shared this and let me feel connected, which is the absolute total ANTIDOTE to shame.

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Wendy November 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

as a fellow sister in sobriety i am also prone to bouts of depression with nothing to fill my hands. nothing healthy anyway. i loved reading this article. absolutely– for some stooopid reason depression has a big fat stigma attached to it that i feel ashamed of and go into isolation which is the exact opposite of what needs to happen with depression, right?

you are such a badass! happy birthday! thank you for inspiring and being a trail blazer. LET THAT IN TOO!

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Patty November 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Too cute! Good on ya for stepping out (literally) of your old patterns!

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Tracey November 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Thank you for sharing your video, you put a smile on my face and gave me a feeling of not being alone in the struggle of finding your place in this world with depression.

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Wendy November 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Amy-You ROCK! I love how you are so bold (and brazen) be you, to be yourself, to share with the world and to dance like no one’s watching. You inspire me!!! XOXO

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Liz November 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I so resonate with this! It really does help to know you’re not alone. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

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Bana April 7, 2015 at 9:37 am

Gooo girls!!! Thank you for this dosage of pure life energy (aka JOY)!

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