Hi. Raquel here.
I am going to level with you. Right here. Right now. In the past decade I have lost three friends to suicide. Each and every one of my friends were fellow entrepreneurs who I worked closely with. I miss Jules S., Mike C. and Matt G. each and every day. I miss 3 AM hyperactive brainstorming calls from Jules. She was my Muse. She brought the biggest and brightest ideas to the table and I loved collaborating with her on fashion, marketing and media ventures. I published an art, music and culture magazine so I could play with creative Rockstar types like Mike and Matt. I knew Mike since birth. He was always the clown in public but sensitive and deeply intelligent in private. Matt I was just beginning to get to know. He was cynical, passionate and painfully talented.
If you are still reading this, I want you to know that you are wanted, needed and loved. Simply knowing that someone is reading these words brings inspiration and joy to my life. You are my family. You are why I get up in the morning. You inspire me to continue to fight through each and every day. Stick with me. We will succeed. We will go places beyond our wildest dreams. Together.
Entrepreneurs are unique people. They are my people. I love connecting with my people. I love working on startups from the ground floor up. It is what I have done for the past, let me do the math, 2016 minus 1991; Twenty-five years. I have been doing this weird inexplicable entrepreneurial stuff for 25 years!
I suppose that having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs is a little like growing up in the circus. You never realize how unique, strange and wonderful your world is until outsiders question you about it. I am a serial entrepreneur who has worked in art, music culture; health, safety, education; technology, publishing and science.
Non-entrepreneurs do not "get" what I do for a living, because, and you may experience this too, my multi-threaded roles are constantly evolving. I do not have time to label, define and translate my behind-the-scenes world to outsiders. I live in a land of jargon, symbols and inside jokes with my fellow aliens. Time is important to me. The bigger picture is important to me.
Last year however, I found out what is even more important to me. Really important. Most important. Living. Me. Me living is most important to me. A year ago I did not feel that me and living were compatible.
Here is the backstory that led up to my suicidal depression. I was hiking in Moab, Utah three years ago. I had a seizure and lost consciousness. I was diagnosed with parietal-temporal lobe epilepsy shortly after. I continued to have seizures. MRIs showed abnormal spots on my brain. I was working a consulting job in 2015 when I experienced partial paralysis and blindness. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) shortly thereafter. I am doing extremely well considering everything but my current health issues only allow me to work from home.
My struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts is not entirely situational, it is a symptom of an incurable disease. Depression is a common symptom of MS that must be treated and monitored. MS is exacerbated by stress, as well as a laundry list of other random things. To put it bluntly though, stress causes my immune system to eat my brain and spine. My brain is my favorite toy that stress is not allowed to touch. I was physically stressed last year by a free-fall battle with MS. I began to spiral into depression.
I let my Neurologist know that I was having suicidal thoughts. She dismissively rolled her eyes at me. I signed myself up to see a Psychiatrist. I waited for 30 days for that appointment.The Psychiatrist prescribe an antidepressant (which also alleviated much of the crippling pain I experience from MS) and I started feeling better.
It is not just better living through chemistry though. I make a conscientious effort every day to eliminate negativity from my life, live simply, spend time with family, practice self-care and amuse my mind. Investing in me is the most difficult job I have ever had.
P. S. Entrepreneur Depression is not automated. Send a message to @entdephelp on Twitter and see!
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