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The Destructive Shaming of Mental Health - JRWI Weekly

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Just Rolling with It

June 10 · Issue #51 · View online
Be well. Work better. Repeat.

Ideas on balancing entrepreneurial drive with wellness, bringing to life new ideas while living well ourselves and making space for what matters in a well-balanced life.

Hi,
Mass media chose to focus on mental health this week. The focus was about two high-profile suicides. Sadly these are only two of the many that happen each year.
The few headlines I connect with when this happens are those about the shaming of mental health. The conversations fade into the background. The news outlets lose interest in their race to distract us and profit from our attention.
Just Rolling with It’s made me very aware of my own mental health. It’s helped me heal my own mind. My mind feels more connected, settled and stable as a result. I feel grateful for this.
Before Just Rolling with It, I bought into the storyline that I was supposed to have it “all figured out”. At times I was leading a startup company. Other times I was working in management consulting.
These are both environments that push the “having it all figured out story”. Anything less is perceived as a weakness and vulnerability.
There was always this sense of shame inside me then. It was deep rooted for other reasons I’ll discuss in future newsletters. During this time, the shame manifested when I felt like I didn’t have it all figured out.
This was most of the time. Sometimes it disappeared a bit if I put on my “I have all the answers” armor during meetings. Other times I numbed it, usually by drinking.
Then I read a post by Brad Feld. He discussed his own battles with depression as a venture capitalist. He opened the conversation about mental health in the startup company world.
Jerry Colonna, now of Reboot, also talks a lot about this topic. Jerry’s featured in this week’s featured podcast. He’s also shared his own mental health struggles.
My own view shifted after learning I wasn’t the only one who shared these feelings. I used to think therapy was a weakness, for example. I never spoke about it.
Now, four years later, I speak about therapy freely and openly. I wrote about this in detail, in these two open letters to Jerry.
I guess today’s newsletter is my own small contribution to keeping the mental health discussion alive. We’ve seen the destructive power shame has on silencing these discussions.
Let’s keep them alive instead.
Catch you next week,
Chris
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Current Reading List
The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson
Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
Music of the Week
Real Deepness 6-10-2018 by DJ Kervyn Mark | Free Listening on SoundCloud
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Podcast of the Week
Mental Health in the Startup Community: A Chat with Jerry Colonna, Executive Coach & Founder of Reboot.IO - Crowdcast
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