“I told you
That we could fly
‘Cause we all have wings
But some of us don’t know why”
– Michael Hutchence
Taken from this song – and yet, an amazing thought in itself.
We DO all have wings. I experienced a brief feeling of this weightlessness, a glimmer of lift-off, earlier today.
I owe an enormous thankyou to Becky – a previous client and one of my lovely readers – for putting yesterday’s IQ in the inboxes of the team from R U OK? Day.
Late today I received a phone call from the R U OK? campaign manager, who asked my permission to post the image and a quote from my essay on their Facebook page. Of course I agreed, and what I have subsequently witnessed is both amazing and humbling, and feels a little like flying.
In the space of 3 hours (as of this writing) the photo and quote has received over 1765 Likes, has been Shared over 730 times, and has generated an enormous amount of conversation in the comments. My website has broken once or twice from the volume of traffic – currently sitting at 400% my average daily views, and climbing by the hour – and I feel this might be what it feels like for a post to go “viral”.
(The post is here.)
This experience is not unlike one I had a week or so back. In the lead-up to Father’s Day, I was approached by PANDA – Post and AnteNatal Depression Association – about sharing my story more widely with their audience, especially as it relates to my depression, and how that coincided with the birth of my second child, my son. Again, I felt amazingly excited, and very humbled.
The ironic thing about all of this is how much energy I get from talking about and working with people about depression and mental illness. I draw strength from sharing my story, and find that each time I come clean about my own depression, it lessens its hold on me and gives me more power over it. I also draw strength and energy from knowing I’m making a difference for people – that by sharing my story, they might find courage or comfort in their own lives, and go on to improve things ever so slightly in their world.
Just yesterday I was listening to a podcast called Invisible Office Hours (utterly awesome) hosted by a dear friend of mine – Jason SurfApp – and another awesome friend called Paul Jarvis. In their most recent episode about Writing, Jason said: “Taking action is my superpower.” It got me thinking about my own superpowers. (It also got me thinking about writing. Like, seriously. Writing a book. An actual book. With pages and stuff.)
I would have to say that talking about my own struggles, openly and vulnerably, and in a way that inspires and gives courage to others, is one of my superpowers. (Of course I have more than one superpower. Doesn’t everyone? ;) )
Which brings me full circle. This whole set of experiences – PANDA contacting me, getting wildly re-shared via R U OK? Day, listening to a great podcast about writing, and finally thinking about my own superpowers – has drawn a few threads together.
It has shown me that I draw LOTS of energy from discussions with people about improving their lives and overcoming or managing depression and other challenges. It has also shown me that I have a way of articulating my own life lessons, in an accessible and relatable way that makes an impact on people. Lastly, it has kicked my butt about something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
So I’m putting this out there for you, my dear reader: I want to take this experience as motivation to finally write a book. Yes. One with pages.
The thing is, I haven’t quite nailed the concept yet, and I could use some help in fine-tuning the ideas. Can I ask a couple of quick questions?
1) What other superpowers do you think I have that could be used for the power of GOOD?
2) What topics have I written about that really resonate with you, and that you’d like to hear more about?
3) What kind of book would be helpful to you? I’m thinking something along the lines of “living a great life, managing depression, and being the best you that you can be” – but I’d love your suggestions.
If you would be so kind to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers to the above, or any other feedback you think I could use, I would be eternally grateful. Please rest assured all information you share will be kept strictly confidential.
Ahhh. Time to sign off and rest.
Have a great day, embrace your superpowers, and thankyou for being here.