Permit Yourself to Live


Normally, I speak more about lifestyle and how intentional living can benefit your health. But the focus is more on intentional living as it reflects on your space. However, a part of my story and a part of this movement is about depression and anxiety. In the wake of Kate Spade’s passing, I felt that I needed to discuss this part of the movement further, so bare with me.

Today in the news, the reporter stated that Kate Spade’s sister said that she was not surprised that her sister had committed suicide. She reportedly had been struggling with mental health problems for years, but did not seek treatment because she was concerned about how it would affect her brand. Tangential to that, I heard a woman ask how could she do that? I have heard people refer to suicide as a selfish act. I do not think this is the case. I think a person chooses to take their own life when they are in such a dark place that they cannot see the light or the opportunities. I do not know that if Kate Spade did seek help that she would have been saved or if this claim is true. Depression/Anxiety or mental health diagnoses are NOT a choice. It is also not something that needs to be hidden. It is something that should be and can be discussed just like a physical illness. Someone with a mental health condition needs support like a person with a physical illness. They need treatment. Do you ever look at someone who is seeking treatment for arthritis as selfish or less than a person because they have a physical illness?  Do you look at exercise as selfish or important?

Through experiencing depression and anxiety, I know first hand that I did not want to seek treatment. I felt like there was something wrong with me, as if I caused my condition or could/should control it. I cannot always control it or know why I am feeling depressed or anxious. Before giving myself permission to seek help, I had questions swirling. Questions like, How will this affect my family? How this affect my career? Will they judge me?

I finally determined that I needed to seek care. I made and cancelled my appointment multiple times. I work at the facility that I was seeking care. I knew all of the people that would see these notes and care for me. That was anxiety provoking alone. Will this affect my career? Will this affect how people see me? How they interact with me?

When I did seek care, I was met with compassion from my clinical team. I do not think that they judged me. But I do know that I have felt judgment from others. Now, I cannot tell you that those individuals truly judged me or if those were stories that I created. I am grateful that I did give myself permission to get help. Through that process, I was able to start with my mission to develop intentional living for myself. I realized that through making simple changes in my home and with my family, I was feeling better. My family was feeling better. Now, I still have hard days, minutes, or hours. But I continue to work through this as a process. I want to share my joy in intentional living. I want to encourage others to live intentionally, to get started, to spend more time with their families, and to live the life they want. Do not wait to live until the weekend, until the evening, until vacation, or until retirement. We do not know how much time we have and we only have one life, only opportunity. Take it.

Please give yourself permission to get help, if you need it. Take care of yourself. If you are a mom, we were our strength, determination, and need to be perfect like a badge of honor. Although we are strong and I do believe women are capable of amazing things, I think we (in general) put a lot on ourselves to be the best mom, the best employee, the best wife, the best daughter, etc. If you do one thing for yourself today, remind yourself that you are beautiful, wonderful, strong, and relentless. You are not perfect. No one is. But our difference, or our short comings also make us who we are. Through every struggle, we grew and learn something. So, there is opportunity. Take your opportunity and live today.

If you need help, seek care from your primary care physician, a therapist, a friend, or a family member. Reach out to me. You are NOT alone. You are NOT to blame. You are NOT a failure.

I am always here for you! Keep moving toward the life you want because you are worth it!


Published by Ashley Strong

I am a hardworking, full-time mother of two beautiful children under the age of two. When I became a mother for the first time almost 2 years ago, I changed greatly. Being a mother is one of the most amazing roles and I am grateful for the blessing. It is also one of the most challenging jobs, whether you are a working mother or a stay at home mom. Working through postpartum depression, I determined that the challenges of motherhood and life seemed to be overshadowing the many joys of motherhood. With much research, I found that the same words continued to pop up: intentional, purposeful, and mindful. This led me to start thinking about how I can be more intentional, purposeful, and mindful in all aspects in my life. The thought is really profound and overwhelming because it could be a major change for my family. I believe in this change and I am jumping into this journey with the great support of my husband. Here I am blogging about my journey. Please join me!

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