Two years ago, I noticed that a particular blog post,“10 things not to say to a depressed person”, had not ceased to stimulate discussions, debates, and inspirations in the comments section. The post was and was intended to be sarcastically amusing, with a touch of humour to bring a smile – at least to myself then, for I was stricken with hopelessness, buried under an avalanche.
Reading the 1000+ comments from readers and fervent debates over depression, I realized that there was a marked misunderstanding between the depressed and those who are not. Perhaps it was someone who wanted to help but did not know how, or depressed persons who could not communicate their lethargies to their friends or colleagues. A rift ensued, fuelling anger, frustration, and even signs of hatred and despite.
Having been on both sides, I decided to write about it, in the aim of elucidating my perspectives on how we could communicate with empathy and help those who needed it. I decided to write an Ebook, as it seemed like a fad of those times.
I thought I could be done in a month – and I did finish the drafting quickly. But then it took time editing, designing, redesigning, reediting… and I had no idea how to do so.
Finally, a few good friends agreed to help me on a pro bono basis, as I intended the book to be free for downloading and reading, without even asking for an email address to register – I loathe marketing tactics to collect contacts and data. Dai, took inspiration from Bearapy to design the illustrations and infographics for the Ebook. Casey helped with the editing. Chantal put in the last touches to formatting and design.
Up and down, priorities, timing, hiccups, a baby, studying, writing a thesis… the launch of the Ebook got pushed back, delayed, set aside, postponed… I got discouraged, annoyed, upset, sad, and almost chucked it in trash.
Yet, somehow, we all persevered. One intention gave us all motivation to give the book the best effort – a hope to help others.
I said to myself, even if this is not a masterpiece, even if it will not win me the Pulitzer prize, but if this Ebook could help just one person out there, somewhere, then my wish is fulfilled and the job is done. There need not be fireworks or top rankings – the only reason I wanted to compile this Ebook was to raise awareness of depression and to help, in my own little way.
Although I have come a long way since those dark, suffocating days, there are times I fall back into the thinking traps. Launching this Ebook is a reminder to myself at the same time that each up and down bears a life lesson for me to learn. And I hope others would share the same self-awareness.
Today is World Mental Health day (10 October), and thus to add my support to this cause initiated by the WHO, I am proud to publish “Pull yourself together – bridging the gap of communication between those who are depressed and those who are not.”
Simultaneously, my Bearapy website is relaunching with a new design with another friend’s help, night and day, for the last month. The site has resurrected from a photoblog to a website for my consulting business in organizational development, employee wellbeing and most importantly, a channel to spread the force of Playfulness!
As the Ebook is designed with bears, it is only logical that it will be housed on Bearapy’s website, so that forces may snergize…. Simply click on the Ebook icon above or the link here to either read it online or download to read at your leisure. Feel free to forward to your friends and those who might benefit from some bear hugs today.
A hope to help. A small cause of action. A hug for everyone.
Inspire, impact, influence. Be Me.