Three months ago I started to feel depressed; you know the kind of slow dread that works its ways into your bones? That was me. I finally recognized the culprits, so I stopped checking the headlines first thing in the morning, I took Facebook and other social media apps off of my phone, and something spectacular happened because of it. I felt better. I liked getting up in the morning. I didn’t feel the creeping anxiety of wondering who else was going to lose rights, livelihoods, or lives that day. Ignorance was freaking bliss. The world didn’t stop. Shitty things kept happening, but I stopped finding out about them.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, our mental health is always the last thing we worry about.
But then something else happened after the euphoria. I recognized that not caring wasn’t possible for me. It wasn’t that ignorance was bliss, but a numbing nirvana compared to the daily anxiety I’d felt before. I’m a bleeding heart. I want to know how I can help, but I was raged-out of outrage. I didn’t have anything left to be surprised or maddened about. I had joined all the advocacy groups, I marched and I protested, I signed all the petitions, I wrote the righteous anger posts, I worked for a progressive candidate, I canvassed, and I still felt like a drop in the ocean. I felt like I was failing all my friends most affected by this administration. I knew that I couldn’t save the world, but it didn’t stop me from feeling guilty about not trying harder.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, our mental health is always the last thing we worry about. Clients, more sales, better metrics: the list could roll on into eternity and our well-being would still be last. We take jobs that aren’t good for us, we work while we’re physically sick or mentally exhausted, and we’re often isolated by the constant demand of our work. But when we’re not good, our work isn’t either. When we’re not good, our families aren’t either. When we’re not good, our community isn’t either. But this isn’t about everybody else, this is about us.
Maybe all of the bleeding hearts anticipated a shorter problem. Maybe we were too optimistic about our realities. Whatever the case, the world is always going to be fraught with issues until we take our last breath. We can do something, but we can’t do everything. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves and to check-in with somebody when we feel something isn’t quite right. It’s easier to tell someone you need help out of a hole when you’re still clinging to the top. Once you’re in, it’s harder for us to see out of it and reach out. It’s even harder for someone to see that we’re even in there. We’ve got to take care of each other because at the end of the day, that's all we have. Let us know how you’re doing in the comments and reach out to at least one person today to see how they’re doing. You’d be surprised how good we are at pretending.
Jordan A. Maney is a San Antonio-based wedding planner and owner of All The Days Event Co. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.