On the downs (anxiety and depression)

Weird way to start this, but Tyler Wright just won the Roxy Pro in France. Why is this important? Because she’s Australian, she’s superbly talented, she’s down to earth, her career is predicated on athleticism not arse shots (seriously, I feel for some of the top women surfers, because I can’t even remember what their faces look like. That dig is aimed at the brands, by the way. Don’t show me my fave surfer looking swaybacked: show me her fuqqing surfing).

But I also took note because Tyler said some interesting things in her acceptance speech (I’ve cued it):

I think that point she makes about caring is everything. At times, I reckon all of us have wished we didn’t care so much about whatever it is that we’re investing ourselves in: whether it be parenting, working a job you love, working a job you loathe, the stupid pressing need to make stories in the hope that they connect with other people … whatever it is.

But then it’s some kind of double-edged sword, isn’t it? You don’t get the ups without the downs. I think where it gets painful is when you look the downs right in the eye, but don’t even allow yourself to feel the wins. You can’t be in the moment because you’re always looking ahead. And there’s that constant gnawing feeling that you haven’t done enough: you can’t really be working unless you’re absolutely flogging yourself. Hell, you don’t even know if you’re on the right path; if there will ever be another win.

This morning, someone did me the absolute kindness of saying, “Yeah, I know what that feels like. I was there a couple of years ago. It’s hard. It will take time. Be kind to yourself. You won’t care less, but you’ll care differently.” (Krissy B, if you ever happen by, it’s YOU I’m talking about, you excellent human being.)

And I got to thinking about how you always hear people saying they went through this AFTERWARDS. (I’m not referring to Tyler here – she’s been vocal about it the whole way – or the mysterious Krissy B – we didn’t know each other back then). Or, if you happen to drift onto social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that NOBODY else ever gets down. EVER. Everything is all happy-lah-lah, win after win.

I think it’s a societal thing. Like you can’t just say things are shit. We’re not allowed to express that – not really. We have to say, ‘Well, things were shit, but now they’re looking up.’ Or, ‘Things are shit, but I’m actually really grateful for all the non-shit things in my life.’ Or, more often than not, you don’t vocalise it at all, because you’re well-mannered, and you don’t want the other person to feel like they have to solve it for you.

Then, when I came home, I found my mum had sent this through in a group email. It seemed timely. And like information that must be shared: https://mindspot.org.au/

If you’re feeling anxious and/or depressed, and you need some help, check it out. In brief, this is what it is about:

Mindspot