I wrote an article for Thrive Global this week and received an overwhelming amount of messages and emails from you. So hi, if you just found me through Thrive. And to everyone else who continues to follow my journey, double hi! The below was not easy for me to write as it’s the first time I’ve addressed being bipolar online and in public.
When they asked me to write an article on mental health, especially on mental health awareness day, I said yes instantly. I’ve spoken about mental health since I battled my eating disorder and it’s not a topic I ever want to shy away from discussing. I felt extra eager to write a post like the one Thrive requested this week because I lately have been suffering quite bad with my own mental health stuff. It might be because I can’t get one school to approve the next summit (it’s becoming the most rejection I’ve faced to date) or because I am doing too much that I feel like I’m about to burn out…but because of that, my anxiety and depression are increasingly harder to battle. Being an entrepreneur is mentally and physically taxing. For someone my age, it’s really fucking hard. I am bipolar and I’ve never found myself suffering as deeply as I am with it lately. The moments of weakness in comparison to the moments of feeling ethereal make maintaining a balance truly difficult.
The reason I’m successful is because when I feel worthy of myself (note: I never find myself needing other people’s approval, it’s all the pressure I put on myself to succeed) which is a decent amount of the time, I can do it all. I can travel every second, type 1 million emails in 20 minutes, eat right, workout at 5 AM, etc., and the moments of weakness when I’m rejected, when I compare myself to someone else, when I feel like nothing is going on, I feel not worthy. That’s why I do everything I can to balance myself out and stay on a schedule even when I’m traveling so I don’t face the lows as bad as I might if I was just going out every night and eating bad or not staying active in some capacity. I won’t go out to dinner or to a party if I feel like I’m going to wake up the next day depressed because I went out. It’s not worth the pain to me anymore.
Burnout is a topic I’ve discussed on This is Life Unfiltered and it’s real. If you have that passion and drive so deep inside of you, you’re never going to give up until you get to where you want to be. You might eventually end up burnt out and you will need to take some time to yourself to decompress. I feel the best when I’m talking to young people at colleges or high schools, or interviewing people for my podcast. I love my job, but it’s taxing in every area of my life. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else even on the moments where I wonder if working this hard and relentlessly will ever pay off. I can’t answer that question and neither can you.
This week I was doing 100 things an hour and spending a lot of time on airplanes, and when it comes to taking a second to sit back and breathe that’s when I feel extra depressed and anxious. Today I was supposed to speak with my therapist but she canceled our appointment, then I got rejected by another college, and then I booked a WeWork conference room in San Francisco and I sat and cried for 40 minutes thinking about everything I’ve done wrong and why I can’t get anyone to say yes. Then I forced myself to call one of my best friends Daniella and she talked me through everything, sent me $13 on Venmo to go to Blue Bottle and get coffee and I felt better. That’s a badass best friend. Find someone like her who will always be there for you and vice versa. I felt a whole lot better after we talked. The power of talking is strong. You should never hold anything in, even if you’re too scared to talk about how you feel, go write about it. Go run it off. Go feel the pain and get through it.
As Daniella told me today, it’s going to be okay. Now I believe it a little bit more.
A few podcast episodes you should listen to: