Earlier this week, iconic designer Kate Spade passed away from suicide. I just got off of the phone with a friend of mine from childhood, and while we were talking he asked me what I thought about her passing. I was in the middle of writing this post when he called, so I explained on the phone what I thought about it to him. A few weeks prior, Avicii died from suicide driven by an overdose on prescription pills. I don’t intend to be too “deep” during this blog post, but I wanted to bring up an important point that I don’t think many people realize about suicide. Maybe because shows like 13 Reasons Why glamorize suicide, or simply because there isn’t enough knowledge surrounding depression and anxiety unless you’ve ever battled it on your own…but you don’t know what someone is battling unless you know them in real life. Not “Internet” or media life, not Vogue 73 Questions life, but actually off of the Internet life.
As someone who battled depression, and struggles with severe anxiety, I know the feeling when you can’t get out of bed. It’s a feeling that I hope no one ever has to go through, but I know that tons of people battle depression on the daily. As a very creative and hyper individual, I credit a lot of my “success” to the way that my brain works. I, like many other entrepreneurs, thrive off of stress and are usually very sensitive, emotional, and incredibly driven. We’ll push ourselves through 24-hour days, some days with no sleep, to accomplish one task. As great as that sounds, my brain has some very serious downsides: when I am sad, I’m really sad. When I’m happy, I’m super happy. I love the way that I am, but I have to always prepare myself for the moments where I won’t be my usual happy self. That comes with being proactive, and knowing the situations that make me uncomfortable or unhappy so that I can avoid them in an attempt to prevent becoming depressed or super anxious.
Kate Spade was an authentic and genuine talent. Unfortunately, depression isn’t something you can cure overnight. But Kate Spade wasn’t in the public eye (her clothing brand was, not her as a personality) so we don’t know what she was suffering with behind-the-scenes. We don’t know what pain she was enduring, or what her upbringing was like (maybe she dealt with trauma as a child) so as a society we can’t make conclusions about why she would have committed suicide. I don’t have an answer to what drove her or drives anyone to commit suicide, besides my personal experiences with depression. Just because she is successful, and uber rich, doesn’t mean that she isn’t allowed to feel serious pain like all of us sometimes do.
I find the more people tell me they think I’m successful, the more sad I get (more than you’d probably expect) because I don’t view myself in the same way that other people do. Of course I feel great when someone tells me they look up to me, but occasionally I don’t feel like I’m worthy of the credit I’m given because I haven’t come to terms with who I am yet. I continue to thrive off of stress, I continue to push myself to do better in the gym, to do better in my personal relationships, to make more money to do cooler things to inspire more people…and quite often, I truly don’t feel like I’m doing enough to one day be simply happy. I wish someone had helped Kate Spade, or Avicii, or any of you out there who are suffering because YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I religiously meditate daily and speak to my therapist so that I can get up everyday and do my job 100% right. I know you might feel alone, but you aren’t. All you have to do is ask for help. I won’t judge you for getting help and no one else will either.
The entertainment industry is a very lonely place. I can vouch for what this world is like: when I heard the news about Kate, I put my head down because I knew that she proved another obvious point: we’ve all got something going on off of the Internet. It makes me sad to think that people think that beautiful bags and pretty pictures are the definition of perfection, when in reality no one is perfect and everyone has their own definition of happiness. You have to do the best you can in this world to be the strongest and happiest version of yourself. I don’t care how old you are: you are loved. You are worthy. You are good enough.
Please email me, DM me, send me a Facebook message…I don’t care, anything, if you ever feel alone. When I say you’re not alone, I truly mean it because you have me.