I get asked this question a lot and this promotional video from United Way / 211MD does a GREAT job of explaining just what a “typical” day looks like for me. And I’m not just saying this because it features yours truly! (I’m totally just saying this because it features yours truly.)

There’s no “usual” or “boring” day. Being a crisis counselor and resource specialist is more than just talking people off that literal ledge, it’s being there during someone’s worst moments and helping them realize they can get through this.

I’m really proud to be a part of the United Way and 211 community, to learn more visit www.211.org and www.unitedway.org.

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My Personal Reboot

I’m Going to Ask for Help Today…

And I’ll admit it, I’m a little afraid. I’m scared of what she might make me face about myself even though that’s exactly what I need. It’s been (oh lordy) maybe almost 20 years since I’ve asked for help from a professional? And I find myself going back and forth between being excited to work on myself and being scared to admit that I need help. I’m the one that helps people – I’m the one on the other end of the line helping someone else get through some serious shit, and here I am reaching out to someone else in my field.

But – that’s not fair, is it?

It isn’t fair for me to feel ashamed or scared of what’s going to possibly come up – because that would make me a liar to every one of my callers that I urge to seek treatment. How can I tell them that it’s okay to open up and trust a professional if I won’t do the same thing for myself?

Okay – mental, Cher-inspired “SNAP OUT OF IT!” slap-moment is over – LET’S DO THIS, let’s go get some help…

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My Personal Reboot, Random Thoughts

A Year Ago Today(ish)

I was going to write this two months ago to mark a different anniversary, when I was laid off from a job that was the culmination of my career in entertainment and social media. The weeks and months ahead left me struggling with my self-esteem in a way that completely surprised me. I was going to take my time remembering the fear and anger, the sense of betrayal, and a resurgence of the depression I’ve struggled with my entire life.

But I changed my mind and decided to write this for a different milestone, celebrating when my life changed for the better in a way I hadn’t thought possible.

Crisis counseling was stumbled into on a total whim, after reading the job posting and thinking, ‘What the hell?’ Because hey, I’ve been through some SHIT. Good writing gigs are always hard to come by– at least, the kind that don’t make you question whether or not you’re a compassionate or productive member of society. So in the meantime, why not try <gasp> GIVING. BACK?!?

And you know what? This year of trying something totally new has become one of the most rewarding of my life. This job, while hard and emotionally draining at times, is also the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done professionally.

Yes, there are challenging calls and frustrating callers. There are also moments that are beautiful and profound that leave me walking away from my shift feeling like I’ve actually made a difference in the universe today, even if it’s just because of one conversation. It’s the most tangible proof I’ve ever had that I’m not alone, and we can still connect with total strangers in a way that can be life-changing.

So far I’ve figured this out: the Me from a year ago that thought my professional life was over was right in a way. That part of my life – the hustle for leads and scramble for pitches, the constant checking of feeds and measuring of trends – that part is over, for now. Just… for now. And maybe… it’s over forever… I’m at peace with that too if that’s how the cards lay out.

It’s been a year of a different life, a different career, a different purpose, and it’s been one of the best. I thought my life was imploding, now I know that wasn’t the end. But at the time I was so immersed in the pain that I just couldn’t see that, and maybe it’s like that for others, and if I can help in any way it’s to say this:

Please don’t give up – there’s always a chance that it can get better. Sometimes it’s working hard and keeping that chin up, sometimes it’s just getting to the next day and trying again, but never doubt that great things can be ahead if you keep fighting for them.

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Random Thoughts

Keep Fighting – Together…

I’m sitting here in one of the greatest eras of my life. I can say that in all honesty. No job has been more rewarding, new friendships have never been so promising. I love someone more fiercely, more open and honestly than I ever have before.

So… Why am I still angry? Why am I still feeling inadequate? Why do the demons I’ve tried so hard to run from continue to nip at my heels?

And there’s no answer to that. Because mental illness doesn’t really have an answer. There’s no real explanation or rhyme or reason to it, there’s just the desire to overcome it. And that’s what I have to keep fighting for – I just have to keep fighting for the ability to fight this at all.

That’s the real point, right? In the words of the incredible actor Jared Padalecki, who has been so kind in being open with his fans about his own struggles: ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING — ALWAYS!

We can have everything we’ve ever wanted: success, love, even happiness – and for people who struggle with depression it’s still a battle to keep your head up. Because the struggle wasn’t there at your job, the struggle wasn’t with your friends, your family, or any of your lovers. The struggle is there inside you – and it’s not going away.

So we keep fighting together, moving forward together. Because all I can do is keep striving to be that Better Me. The Me that feels the weight of my own thoughts but keeps going anyway, keeps pushing my whole self towards a Better Self.

No matter how long that struggle takes, if I devote my life to striving to be that Better Me, it’s never going to be a wasted life. And the alternative? The alternative is untimely death – and I’m Better Than That. We Are Better Than That. Together.

So please – please keep fighting. We’re together in this, no matter how far away you are, I’m with you, a lot of people are with you.

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