Oh my goodness, I am so excited! I want to tell you everything all at once, but no, I need to tell you the whole story for you to feel its impact and its overall awesomeness.
Two weeks ago I was in complete turmoil. Someone in London’s mental health community had sent me information about a job they thought I should apply for. It wasn’t in my element at all, but I actually had a shot in landing the position. It meant paid work in trying to fix our broken mental health care system.
It intrigued me, but I knew I would burn out fast since there was nothing in the description involving any kind of creativity. No art, just input based on my many visits to the hospital over my lifetime. A pay cheque earned from my pain. I knew there was nothing in it for me but the money.
But do I ever need the money! Last winter was so cold, I was so sick, and I had no money at all. I couldn’t craft – I could barely move from the couch – and my mind wouldn’t focus enough to even let me read for very long. My life stopped in all ways though my body was still alive. Like a frog freezing along with the pond it calls home, I lost all energy to do anything but let my heart beat.
With the sun beginning to set earlier and earlier, my hope for the oncoming months dwindled. I worried that this winter would be as dark as last winter. I keep thinking, “What the fuck am I doing with my life? Is this a life at all?”
After much delay, I decided that I should apply for this job, as much as I cringed at working anywhere with no creative outlets involved. This job was going to be sterile, but would produce a pay cheque.
My heart screamed, “No!”
But my mind insisted, “Yes, Erin you need this. You need this money to get you through the winter.”
Even though my mind had decided on applying, I could not get myself to work on updating my resume to make me sound like a good candidate for the position. It was on my mind so much that I had nightmares every night for a week straight, waking up cold and cramped and gasping for air. My childhood abuse tormented me; I even had a grizzly bear dream, which has always been my biggest nightmare, ever since I was really young. I was miserable.
I pushed off working on my resume, telling myself I still had a few days to apply. Then almost exactly a week ago, a miracle arrived in my inbox.
“I’m writing because we’d like to feature you in a series of videos on Depression. The videos would be part of our “True Champions” series, which highlights people advocating for specific health conditions.
We think you’d be a great fit for our series because of the work you are doing on your blog, Twitter, with mindyourmind, and through your public speaking. Your strong voice of hope and fighting spirit are sharing such an important message that “you are worth it” and we’d like to amplify that. You ARE a True Champion for people suffering with depression, and we’d love to highlight your work.
The completed videos would live on [our site], and will be seen by millions of viewers. Ideally, we would be able to spend a day with you to shoot an interview, you writing, creating art, walking your dog and even giving a speech or talk (if possible). What we’d like to show is how you are living every day, fighting for yourself and for others, and advocating for awareness along the way.”
I’ll share more details about who these people are after the video is shot, because I’m scared that by naming it this miracle will disappear. But they’re a mental health site from the US. They’re fucking flying people from New York all the way to little London, Ontario to film ME!
It’s going to be wonderful and surreal. They want to film me doing all the things I do, and I just can’t wait to see the looks on other people’s faces. If anyone recognizes me in this city, they know me as someone who is pretty much always alone. Suddenly I’m going to look like a movie star! They’re going to have a freaking hair and makeup person there. Ha!
So on November 24th, I have a full day booked to be interviewed and filmed and everything. It’s kind of surreal.
After the excitement died down a little, I realized that all of this exposure for my blog and my art will be great, but I still haven’t solved the problem of surviving this winter financially.
Then, yesterday morning, I got an email from my friends at mindyourmind. They wanted me to know that they’re going to be ordering one thousand buttons from me for an upcoming project. One thousand! Do you know what that means?
Enough money to get me through this winter. I’ll have enough to eat, enough to stay warm and focus on my blog. Hell, I’m even going to have enough to pay off some of my debt I’ve accumulated since buying this laptop.
The moral of the story? Things can work out. They really really can! As much as can I resent my stubborn mind, my unwillingness to compromise and take any old job just to survive, well, not settling has allowed something incredible to happen. Something real, fulfilling, it’s exactly what my heart and my mind want. I didn’t think such a thing was possible!
And now I’m super inspired. This video shoot is going to give me and my blog the most exposure I’ve ever gotten. Ever! Three years of writing Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living With Depression for free, just because I know it’s what I need to do, is finally paying off. Maybe with enough exposure, I can make money at this, make it my living and my full-blown life.
I’m crafting a ton before the film crew arrives. I’m leaving them a surprise, however, I will reveal them to you as they’re produced! They’ll be in my Etsy shop in the next few weeks. Here’s a hint: they’re all about mental health. I’m making handmade goodies that will inspire you, help keep you safe, help keep you grounded. They’re going to help me and help you.
They’re going to embody to Art of Living With Depression!
Are you excited? Hell fucking yes! You’re on this ride with me. You are the reason I am here doing any of this. I am so happy for us! This is going to be so cool.
Start thinking about how you’re going to survive this winter. What nurtures you? What makes you feel good?
Start there. Whether it’s crafting or writing or standing on your head trying to balance a spoon in your mouth. Do what you need, what your heart needs. Keep doing it! It’s the right thing to do.
See you back here soon, with more posts and love and probably more exclamation points. Yeah!