Earlier this week I spoke with journalist Rachel Kelly about her experience with depression. Rachel has written a brilliant book Black Rainbow about her two very intense, all encompassing episodes with depression and shared all the elements from true friendships, therapy and poetry that helped her overcome them.
I met Rachel at a talk she gave at a mutual friends a couple of weeks ago. I was riveted by every word she said and impressed by her courage, clarity and compassion. Plus a lot of what she said resonated in my own life. From the constant need to strive, the struggles to be vulnerable with your peers, the trying to be too many things at once and then with the small things that all add up to make a big difference in our lives: such as the nourishment that working with our breath brings, the healing power of meditation, looking after our diet, doing work you love and regular exercise. I was also greatly interested to hear Rachel talk about the power poetry had on her healing as it has been something that has been enormously helpful to someone very dear to me as well with his own experience of healing past trauma.
I was shocked to hear that in the UK 1 in 4 people are said to be effected by depression. Which makes depression an epidemic. Why? Well that’s a big question. There are said to be 7 reasons why a person can be depressed from genes to events that happen in ones life. All I can say is that a lot of what Rachel talks about resonates with me and has encouraged me to #throwthenetopen on my own understanding of what depression means and where it may have impacted my own life.
So if you have ever suffered from depression, still do, or simply want to know how to really support yourself when times get tough – please download Rachel’s Black Rainbow App – (it’s free). It’s an awesome little tool that gives advice on everything from eating the right diet to help your body sleep at night, and sharing the poetry that helped Rachel overcome her depression.
Lastly, today is World Mental Health Day, so if you know of friends or family members who this interview may resonate with, please do share.
IN the meantime, here’s to throwing the net open to everything we take for granted – our health included – and learning as Rachel says to be gentle with ourselves.