By: Michael J Sholtes
What a joy it was to speak with Randi for my interview on the Write or Die show! Her openness and honesty make it a safe place to openly talk about important things, like how to deal with depression. I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak with her about my own story, to find points of connection between us, and to do my part to end the stigma.
The best and most important coping skill I use to deal with my ongoing depression is the simple act of opening up and talking to people. I have learned over the years that it’s the most important element of managing my mental health. Note that I say this is simple, not easy. This can sometimes be the most difficult and frightening thing in the world! It’s so tempting to think that we must figure everything out ourselves and pretend everything’s fine. Depression often tells me that it’s not worth it to share, that I’m not worth it. But when I can get the energy and the courage to open up, there is hope there. Whether it’s to my counselor or my spiritual director, a friend or my wife, my congregation, or a podcast host, opening up is so helpful. It’s risky, but it also changes the world.
I’ve also opened up in book form. Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith is brutally honest – I describe in great detail two suicide attempts and their aftermath. (As well as lots of other difficult and humorous times in my life.) But it’s also filled with hope as I slowly learn that there is hope and love for me and that I am capable of sharing it. Buy it at Amazon, or check out my website for more information about it and other things I write.