Personal. Here’s what you may not know about me.
Hey Good Lookin'! I hope you're having an awesome day.
If you've been with me awhile, you know I try to keep it light and bright and fun here. I always try to make you smile when I write these notes and when I write my emails.
There's a reason for that.
I'm honestly not sure where this is going to head today, but I feel like I need to share. So I'll plop this out there and then let you decide.
Over the years, I've shared about how I've struggled with anxiety for many years. In fact, in 6th grade, I went to the doctors where they said that my stress levels were causing me to start to get ulcers. Yeah. Sixth grade.
Pretty much after that and into high school, as the overachiever that I am, it developed into major depression along with anxiety.
It got progressively worse until in January of 1992, when I was hospitalized to protect myself. I had decided to die by suicide. My dad was very confused by my change of attitude. I had become nearly giddy after weeks of sadness (which is apparently a common sign to look for). But first, I promised my dad that I would go with him to a counsellor's appointment, so we went. The counsellor spotted that I was in the final stages, despite my outward appearance. I was sent to the hospital.
I got a nice 21 day stint in the hospital, including all of the fun bits, like losing my shoelaces (because I could try to hang myself with them) and lots more. I got to do Occupational Therapy – making sun catchers and arts and crafts. I had private and group therapy. And, of course the meds. All the meds. The worst part was I did not get much fresh air. I love fresh air.
In the 26 years since then, mostly around the holidays and winter, it comes back with a vengeance. (This is why oftentimes you can go weeks without hearing from me during those times.) Yes, I discovered much of the depression is / was medical. Thyroid, vitamin D deficiencies, etc. (Always get those things checked if you have depression.) But even as those are regulated, the darkness remains – on a lesser scale, but it's still there.
I honestly have not looked at the news about Kate and Anthony. I am still personally reeling from Owen Wilson's suicide attempt in 2007 and the loss of Robin Williams in 2014. And, I know that reading the details is not a healthy thing for someone like me. With a past like I've had.
Each a brilliant, sensitive, creative entrepreneur, JUST LIKE US.
This is NOT a club we want to join!
I know the stats. And they are ugly.
Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide.
Again, I don't know where this is going, but I do know through friends and family members how horrible it is to find someone they love gone, by their own hand.
In most cases, they had NO clue that it was coming. They were blindsided and shackled with that memory of finding their loved one and the confusion and guilt that accompanies it — for the rest of their lives.
That's part of the problem. It's NOT being talked about. When I was at my darkest, I honestly though that I was doing the right thing and that the world would be a better place WITHOUT me in it.
Over the years, I've talked with dearest friends who I know suffer from depression. And, I've also talked with my husband and my kids, too.
I've explained to them the impact that it would have on me if they were to die by suicide. One friend, I spoke with after he was hospitalized, said that he had never thought about the impact on his friends and family. He said he would never put me through that. I hope he keeps his word. Because I love him. And he makes my world a better place.
I reminded them each that I am always here, always, to talk to if those thoughts come.
I opened the door for them to come to me, without fear of judgement, and they know that they will ONLY get love and help.
One thing you know about me is how much I love to travel. I talk about it all the time.
Do you want to know a dirty secret of mine? Only my closest friends have known until now.
I keep planning out trips, and adventures (even little ones), on my calendar so that I have something to look forward to.
Because I know that on my darkest days, I NEED to have something to look forward to.
No, I don't believe that I would or could, at this point, hurt myself, for many reasons, but mainly because I know the impact that it would have on my children and my husband. We've talked about it.
The doubt, confusion, pain, guilt, and a lifetime of terror and nightmares. I could not hand that to them.
But …I do not know the future. If I do have thoughts, I know that I can re-focus on the good things I have coming, when I have things to look forward to.
It's just a trick I play on my own mind.
It's obviously not as simple as that. I wish! I just wanted to share and that's where that headed.
I do one other thing. When I get very very low, I go through pictures of my life from when I was 18 years old until today. And, I think “I almost missed ALL of this because of one moment. One decision.”
I look at pictures of my kids, my husband, my friends, and the silly things we have done together.
And, I cry. And I cry. And I cry. The kind of big ugly cry that needed to get out with lots of snot.
And then I sit in gratitude. Because I didn't miss it.
So, that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about me.
And if half of my lists unsubs now that you know all of this, it's ok, as long as one or two of you are nodding your heads and feeling a bit more understood and loved today.
If you're appalled that 123 people in the US die each day by suicide, here are some ways to help. If you need help yourself or for a loved one, check the PS for resources. I will add more if you comment with the ones you love.
I'll be back with all kinds of goodness soon.
I also like: https://afsp.org/find-support/ and https://save.org/
Suicide crisis lines by country:
I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.
LanaJune 9, 2018 at 11:31 pm
I’ve deleted weeks of your emails because I’ve been so busy and just didn’t have time to read them. I have no idea why I chose to read this one.
I’m so glad I did.
Thank you for authentically sharing such an amazing story. We all have ‘stuff’ and sometimes just knowing that other people like us have their own ‘stuff’ makes the seemingly insurmountable a lot more like a simple bump in the road.
NicoleJune 9, 2018 at 11:36 pm
Thank you, Lana. I feel the same about that connection. I was scared to write this that I might offend or hurt people, but I thought about the person who needed to hear it, and I decided to go ahead.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my emails – when you have time. 🙂 I totally understand busy! Hugs and thank you again.
Diana FrameJune 9, 2018 at 11:37 pm
Thank you so much for sharing this. Too often I’m guilty of thinking that all the successful people I follow online have everything going for them, perfect lives and successful online businesses. Sure, it’s easy for them to succeed!
Not too long ago my adult daughter was in a deep depression and tried to commit suicide. It was the worst time of my life. Things are much better now but that dark time always lurks in the back of my mind. Could it happen again? Will I be able to help her? It’s so hard to understand.
I wish you the all the best life can bring and again, I thank you so much for sharing your story. You have made me realize that I have no excuse for not moving forward with my dreams and goals! You are AWESOME!!
NicoleJune 14, 2018 at 3:33 pm
Diana, I am so thankful that your daughter is doing better now. Yes, watch her. Keep talking with her. And, keep planning for the future together.
As I mentioned in my story, I had promised my dad that I would go to the appointment. As silly as it sounds, I didn’t want to let him down by not keeping my word. But yet, I planned to die that night. (As if that wouldn’t hurt him more, right?) It doesn’t make sense, but knowing that I had that to go to that appointment postponed it long enough for the right people to hear me.
And, yes, I had tried before that to let people know how much I was hurting and it was not recognized.
Anyway, thank you for the kind and brave sharing on your part. May you and your daughter make many happy memories in the coming years to look back upon. <3
YOU are awesome, too!!!
Lou Ellen GoodwinJune 9, 2018 at 11:38 pm
Dear, dear Nicole…
Your story and your beautiful letter are both heart-warming and heart breaking for me…on every level imaginable.
Your heart and your soul are filled with love and compassion…it’s in everything you say and do…your emails are so clearly filled with your intentions…wrapped up in lots of white light.
Most importantly, I want to express my gratitude for your brave sharing, which is so very touching. Many people will feel the same, I’m sure. How could anyone not?
We all need to be filled with love, positive support and encouragement. I’m sending all of those your way.
You are a true Blessing…
NicoleJune 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm
Thank you for taking the time to come over here and for spreading so much love and kindness.
This is so special and I have read and re-read your note over the past few days, soaking it in.
Much love to you.
Lori DeanJune 9, 2018 at 11:43 pm
So sweet you are, thank you bunches for the sharing of a bit of your life with these demons. It will help me also. You are an awesome woman, grateful to have you as a step daughter-in-law for sure. And yes for both Kate and Anthony the “Giddy” word came up, I know these signs also, that is the final one, as they feel this way because they have decided how to end their lives and feel relieved and happy with this final decision, giving away prized possessions is also a final sign, So sad. Thanks again for sharing. Love You All.
NicoleJune 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm
I love you, too. <3
Angela WillsJune 10, 2018 at 12:32 am
I had absolutely no idea that many people die each year by suicide. That number blows me away. I just did a quick search and it seems a lot of the top causes of death are preventable with lifestyle changes and with suicide, mental health help.
I’m so glad you got help! And I’m so glad you are so brave as to share this post to help be a voice for a major issue. Hugs and I’m so proud to know you!
NicoleJune 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm
It’s absolutely unbearable to fathom, and the numbers may actually be LOW compared to actual suicides. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
Hugs back to you. Love you bunches. You know that! <3
suziJune 10, 2018 at 1:26 am
Thank you Nicole for this beautiful article and for your courage!
Your an inspiration.
Please keep showing us the way,
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 11:57 am
I will do my best, Suzi! <3
KitJune 10, 2018 at 2:30 am
What a beautiful email and post here. Your story is raw and real and I am sure will touch the right people on your list and possibly save a life. I don’t suffer from depression but know those who do and have seen the struggles you’ve shared. You are a beacon of light and so brave to share. Thank you for your honesty! <3
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 11:58 am
Awwww. thank you, Kit! <3
Steve PohlitJune 9, 2018 at 11:28 pm
Nicole I am happy you are writing this rather than reading about you. Thank you for sharing. As you mentioned there are several well known people in the news and based on the data a lot more that most of us do not know about.
I hope this reaches a lot of people and I will share it and if this helps even one it will be worth it
NicoleJune 9, 2018 at 11:32 pm
Thank you so much for commenting (and also sharing), Steve. <3
The website where I got the statistics said that the numbers are very low compared to reality. I can't even imagine...
Kat SturtzJune 10, 2018 at 5:14 am
Hugs. I’ve lost several family and friends to depression and suicide, and others who survived to make different choices after their darkest nights. Thank you for sharing.
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 11:59 am
Kat, I am so sorry that you’ve lost friends in this way. I can’t imagine. I hope to see you soon, my friend!!! <3
PattiJune 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm
Thank you so much for sharing this. I personally have never struggled with this but I have a daughter (who we adopted) that does. She has a mental illness and there are very few places in this world that truly understand.
I am grateful for your transparency and for understanding the impact this has on the whole
So glad you have been able to manage this and are still here with us, sharing your gifts with the world!
Hugs to you my friend ❤️
Abi CarmenJune 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Being raised as an observant Jew there was never a choice for anyone in our community to even think about suicide as it was forbidden by the Torah since we are all made in Gods image. Regardless, I have had friends that lost children to this terrible ‘disease’. The most recent suicides of two famous and well-liked individuals give us pause and remind us just how little we know of other people’s pain and challenges.
Two thousand years ago, the Jewish sage Hillel warned: “Do not judge your fellow man until you have reached his place.” We have to approach others with sensitivity and care, never assuming we know what they are feeling. Too often, the face we put on in public masks what we’re truly feeling, preventing us from connecting with others and sometimes stopping us from recognizing or helping to alleviate another’s pain.
All that being said, know that my door is always open when and if you ever need to talk, you know I can always make you laugh if nothing else.
Happy in Mexico,
Your Friend, Abi
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 12:01 pm
I appreciate you, my friend. Much much love to you and Deanna! <3 And, you know I'm still hoping to visit you guys in the near future.
William R. HumphreysJune 10, 2018 at 5:05 pm
I have always liked you as a friend.
Dating back to your days with Jimmy D..
I love your smile it so bright, I love the way you write, I love the way you present yourself and things in your life, how you share your experience with your family. I love the way you are you. I have hundreds thousands of emails but your emails are at the top some what special of all on my email list to be read. While a lot of other emails find the Email Trash can Spam. Yours is a moment of looking at and doing some serious thought sometimes relating to a
Robert Allen Aha moment or take action.
With your email of June 9, I love you for your honesty, your humor (snot crying) and being yourself and helping other people.
Your loss would hurt a lot. How I feel to get me to unsubscribe from your list you would have to hit me in the head with a shovel bury me 6 feet under and I would still have you on my email list because it is a honor and you may send me away to
get out my predicament.
A friends love
Your smile brightens many live
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm
Bill, you brought tears of joy and happiness to my day. Thank you so much for the beautiful and kind words. <3
Alice SebaJune 10, 2018 at 9:38 pm
Love you, Miss Nicole.
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm
Back atcha, Miss Alice! <3
CarolJune 11, 2018 at 1:26 am
Thank you for your very courageous article. I don’t live in the US and very few suicides in this Caribbean island. That’s a lot of people who die in the US from suicide. I admire your courage and you keep on been strong.
Carol SmithJune 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm
I am from a family that has suffered from bi-polar for five generations. We have avoided the ever-present danger of suicide until last Christmas when my brother’s 21-year-old grandson shot himself. It has a profound, long-lasting effect on all of the family. I was fortunate enough not to be a victim of this insidious disease but I am on my second round as caregiver. That role is indeed difficult and requires a constant check on your own stability. If you find yourself in this position, there are support groups in many cities.
AlexandraJune 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm
Thank you so much for your brave and sensitive article!
KathyJune 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm
Thank you so much for speaking your truth, and sharing with me (and many others) a new and valuable perspective.
I think the little travel incentives you give yourself to look forward to are a fabulous coping mechanism and an inspired form of self care.
Thanks to you, I now have more concrete skills I can use when I’m faced with a loved one battling severe depression. I can help them understand how much better the world is because of them, and how much (MUCH) worse my world would be without them in it.
Shannon SmithJune 13, 2018 at 10:10 pm
Avery WilmerJune 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm
What a beautiful and brave post, Nicole. You are a true warrior. <3
SusanJune 14, 2018 at 11:36 pm
Thank you for sharing, Nicole. I’m sure your words have touched others as they touched me. Best wishes to you and yours.
LainJuly 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm
You are loved. And it means the world to know you love me, too.
NicoleJuly 20, 2018 at 9:51 am
I most certainly do!!!! <3
Ada LincolnOctober 12, 2018 at 8:50 am
Dear Nicole, you have moved me to tears with your story. I want to reach across the world ( Australia ) and give you a big hug. You are special and you have offered so much to me and I am sure others around the world. I want to say a big thank you and take care of yourself.
NicoleOctober 12, 2018 at 10:21 am
Ada, thank you so much for your kind words and the hug. I’m sending a big hug back to Australia to you! <3 You take care of yourself, too.
TishJuly 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Thank you for sharing this Nicole. It’s such an important message and it’s not easy to be vulnerable and put it out there like you did but I’m glad you did. Love you my friend!
NicoleJuly 1, 2020 at 3:49 pm
Thank you so much, Tish. I love you, too, my dear friend! <3
Jan L RileyOctober 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm
My dearest Nicole
I am so grateful you are alive and living life. I so enjoy seeing your family pics and can feel your pride thru the posts on FB. Suicide is indeed an important topic for so many people, including myself. I have been suicidal for 5 days out of 7 over the past month. It is a physical and emotional sensation, and even tho I am world class and walking thru it ( as I have done since 4th grade) I admit I am TIRED. Tired of walking thru it, tired of it always coming back
My life is great, my wife loves me , animals are happy and healthy and I have a wonderful home. I take my meds and try to talk about it but many of my friends think I should be over it by now or just want to fix me. I WISH either of these things could happen. There are days that knowing that these strong dark feelings will come rushing back no matter what I do, is almost too much.
I am grateful for you sharing this because I don’t feel so alone right now. Right now is all we really have – so thank you – for being YOU. Being vulnerable and honest is a strength. Your warmth and love is a blessing for the world.
You know I would hug you now if I could.
NicoleOctober 5, 2020 at 8:52 am
Hi Jan. I am sending safe and virtual hugs back.
I understand being tired – and this year does not make emotional/mental health ANY easier. One thing I did recently was to make a list of all of the things that have happened this year (cousin’s suicide, classmates deaths, D going off to college, covid stress, etc.) – and I wrote above it all “I am a badass! I survived all of this and a still here!” It may be silly but it’s helped me to realize that I am overcoming every day and not just a little bit of stuff. And don’t stop talking about it. The right people will still love you and understand. And those that don’t? Well, that’s more about them than you.
Sending hugs. And keep fighting to stay here. The world is a better place with you in it.
Jen "Jayelem" M.June 17, 2021 at 10:48 am
I have no clue when you wrote this and I am not usually in the habit of writing to blog posts. But I had to on this one. I, too, have suffered for YEARS with SAD and depression. This year, I hit a crisis and I had to take the entire month of February off from my job as a teacher. I was breaking out in hives constantly and the last straw for me was that, one day I was just doing my thing and I realized my face hurt. Turned out, I was scratching my own face without realizing it until my face hurt. I knew then I needed help!
Like you, the winters are brutal for me and, like you, there are other issues going on which keep me in a mild depressive state almost every single day. But I did receive the help I needed and I took the time off I needed so badly, just so I could get into a better place in life. Now, I am off for the summer and decided to build an online printables business with educational materials, planners, and my own photography, so that I can be more proactive about how my life is going. So, thank you for sharing your very personal story. It helps me realize I am not alone.
NicoleJune 17, 2021 at 1:54 pm
Hi Jen / Jayelem. <3 Thanks so much for the comment. I'm so sorry we have this in common. One thing that does help me is making sure I'm taking Vitamin D and getting fresh air (outside every day). But other than that, for sure the last year of 2020 and beyond has NOT been easy. Sending love and I'm so glad you got the help you need and that you're building your awesome business. You are not alone. Hugs. N
Gipsy MalanApril 21, 2022 at 1:57 am
Dearest Nicole, thank you so much for sharing this. It’s such a breath of fresh air to find someone in this space that is real and honest and open. I have lived with bipolar for 30 years, although I was only officially diagnosed 5 years ago (previously only treated for depression) I can actually feel a bout of depression slowly creeping in so I found your post at the perfect time. It’s made me realize it’s okay to not always be hustling and even though everyone says you MUST keep in contact with your mailing list, you should take a break if you have to. The online world is often lonely. I’m glad I found this post 🙂
NicoleApril 21, 2022 at 8:37 am
Hi Gipsy. <3 Yes. ANY progress is progress when you're not yourself. Especially when that progress is the self-love of giving yourself kindness to NOT mail and you take a long hot shower or go on a walk instead - and you don't beat yourself up but just say that tomorrow is another day. Also, pro tip. Re-sending old promos and emails is perfectly fine. We do it all the time at CoachGlue.com! Big big hugs.