“The Many Faces of Depression”: Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality–Jami’s Story

"The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION": Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality--Jami's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

"The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION": Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality--Jami's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

I am pleased to continue my “Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” campaign this month with Jami’s story.

Jami is a counselor,  speaker, and mother of seven! Her story shows how depression can hit not only during hard times, but also how it may come unbidden when we most want to feel happy and well.

Jami shows us, once again, that depression can come to anyone, any time, and that it does not in any way reflect weakness on the part of the sufferer. Jami has worked very hard to overcome her depression. She shares specific strategies that have helped her, including focusing on spirituality, and how depression has impacted her spiritual connection and beliefs. Jami seeks to keep smiling, despite depression; again, as I always say, “You can’t always tell by looking.”

That’s why I’m doing this series, each month for this entire year–to keep this topic open for discussion; to keep reminding us that we’re not alone and that depression does not mean we are weak; to educate and help people understand depression more fully so we can stop the stigma that holds so many captive. I am grateful to Jami for lending her face and voice to help break down the walls, and stigma, of depression!

 

Jami’s Story

“Depression…Maybe it’s that feeling of being a caged tiger that intermittently erupts and threatens to consume you. Maybe it’s the negative, nagging thoughts of running away, disappearing, and hibernating that are nipping at your heels. Maybe it’s the subtle simmering of certain words that would usually never occur, words like death, sleeping pills, and funerals.

 

‘Maybe it’s the shroud of numbness as you sit amongst utter chaos, yet you feel nothing. Maybe it’s the veil of mental fog and utter disconnect from those you see around you but the stark realization that even in a room full of people, you feel no one. Who knows. But somehow, you’re left stumbling in slow motion through the deep dark dismal abyss of depression.

 

Depression can happen any time, to anyone…

‘Here I find myself venturing my way through the murky waters of depression once again. Painfully, depression is no stranger to me. It hit me as I battled my way out of an abusive marriage with a three month old. It choked me as I faced months of handling a screaming colicky baby. It kidnapped me while I attempted to celebrate the surprising birth of our long awaited baby girl. It swarmed me following a life threatening experience of our infant son. And now it nearly consumes me as I send my son off to college and cradle the little bundle in my arms that we hadn’t anticipated.

 

‘It has robbed me of clarity, celebration, and contentment. Some would say I should be tougher mentally or question why I, as a counselor and speaker, can’t help myself. The stark truth…Depression can happen at any time, to anyone. And that includes me.

 

Depression in Marriage, Motherhood, & Postpartum…

‘The first time I experienced depression, people could understand my struggle a bit, After all, I was leaving"The Many Faces of Depression": Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality--Jami's Story www.DrChristinaHibbert.com an abusive marriage with a tiny baby, and the whole situation seemed dark and horrible. Then, about seven years later I was mothering an extremely colicky baby who had horrible reflux issues. After just a few moments in his presence most people could understand why I might be struggling. His constant crying would get anyone down!

 

‘But then two years later, we were overjoyed to be surprised by the addition of a baby girl after having three boys and being told she was expected to be a boy. Despite my pure excitement, I could feel the depression overcoming me. And no one understood! By everyone else’s measure, I should be ecstatic. And as much as I wanted to feel that, I could feel only the dark cloud of depression overtaking me. I remember vividly sitting in my living room, thinking about my funeral, and what it would be like to have others walk into my home once I was gone. I felt convinced my kids would be better off with me dead. (Read more about postpartum depression here.)

 

‘Those were long and scary days. The depression felt as though it lasted forever. Even with counseling and medication, I didn’t feel much relief. Depression hit again six years later, two months after we had our sixth child and he experienced a life-threatening incident. The fear of picking him up and having him feel near death will never leave me. I felt anxious and dreadful. I constantly relived the events and felt certain I should be able to keep anything from harming him. I lost sleep and grew into a depression with anxiety looming. Now, here I sit following the surprise addition of our seventh child (sixth son) who arrived just five short weeks after sending our oldest son off to college. Who knows if the launching of a child or hormones after the addition of another bears greater weight on the depression I feel over whelming me. The fact remains. I am once again where I have desperately tried to never be again.

 

What helps…Self-Care & Spirituality

‘As hard as the struggle is proving to be, I am at least trying to stay afloat and have found some of these things helpful.

Supplements/Essential Oils–I am taking quality supplements that are supporting my overall health and supposed to be a good tool for combatting depression. Even though they are not inexpensive, I find that I feel worse if I miss just one or two doses. I am also using some mood supporting oils. I apply them topically and diffuse them as well. I can really feel a difference and can tell when I am not using them consistently.

Sleep—I make a point to nap a little each afternoon. Sometimes that is my motivation to get through a difficult morning! I also find that it is like building a small energy reserve to finish the day. And at night, I diffuse essential oils that help support better sleep. (Read, “6 Insomnia Causes & Cures” here.)

Diet–I make sure to eat and drink well. I really hate drinking water, but adding lemon oil to my water is another method of gently flushing my system and fighting depression.

Exercise—Okay, maybe I fail here just a little, but with the busy schedule of a family with seven kiddos…I feel like I am constantly running! (Read about Exercise and Mental Health Benefits here.)

Counseling—Obviously, as a counselor I believe in the value of counseling. Even then it can be hard to take that step to trust someone and go. It really is valuable to have a place that you can leave your “junk” and return to life. (Read more about postpartum depression psychotherapy treatment here.)

Grace—More than anything, I am really trying to give myself grace for this race. My house is not as clean as I would choose. The laundry is often overtaking me. I’ve had a kid or two go to school with bedhead, and I have even gone three days with the same hair do…but THAT’S OK!

Spiritual Connection—Depression makes me feel disconnected from everyone, and honestly, that includes God. But during this time, I remind myself of the things I know to be true. He is always there. He’s got His eye on me, and He will never let me go. Thankfully, He’s a big God and He can even handle my anger and extreme emotions. (Read about The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection here.)

 

This has been my journey through depression…

‘Yes, I am a face of depression. It may come as a surprise to many, as I walked out most days feeling as though I had to choose the shallow smile and suffer in silence. How refreshing it would be to remove the stigma and be able to talk about it and get the support we so desperately need!”

~Learn more about Jami on her website, jamikirkbride.com!

 

 

 

Read and share the stories from 

“The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” series:

Overcoming the Stigma of Depression: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)”–My Story

Men, Illness, & Mental Health–Pernell’s Story

more coming soon!

 

Did Jami’s story touch you in some way? Could you relate, or did you learn something? What would you like Jami to know? Please leave a comment, below, and show Jami your gratitude and support!

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

NEW! Dr. Hibbert’s latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 
 
 

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 "The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION": Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality--Jami's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

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Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

 

Family, Friends, & Support: 10 Crucial Ways to Love & Be There for Each Other

Friends, Family, & support- 10 Ways to Be there for Each other; www.DrChristina Hibbert.com

Friends, Family, & support- 10 Ways to Be there for Each other; www.DrChristina Hibbert.com“In order to give love, we must receive love; as we receive love, we learn to love ourselves; and as we love ourselves, we have so much more love to give.”

~This is How We Grow

 

The past months have served as a stark reminder of a truth I’ve long known but needed to know again: We need each other. We truly cannot do it alone. What is “it,” you may ask? Life. From loss to depression, to holidays to successes, to serving to needing to be served, I’ve been faced with this truth once more these past months–that we belong to one another, and that alone, we fail, we suffer, we fall.

 

Family, Friends, & Support: We Need Each Other

I don’t want any of us to fall. I want each of us to feel loved, supported, and uplifted. I want each of us to know we are not alone. I want each of us to reach out for help when we need it, and especially to let help in. I want us to remember that, as human beings, we are one. We are connected. We are not separate, and we certainly cannot do life alone.

 

 

10 Crucial Ways to Be there for Each Other

How? How do we ensure we are completing the cycle of giving and receiving love? How do we ensure we’re actually there for each other, that we’re doing what we must to support one another? Here are 10 things we can do, which I believe are crucial to “being there.” Pick at least one; then, make sure you do it today.

 

1) Be there for one another through the hard times. It seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve learned that many of us struggle to be there when times get tough for our loved ones. We don’t know what to do, or to say, so we do and say nothing. We mustn’t do this. A few months ago, I shared my struggles with depression. It even prompted my “Many Faces of Depression” series, because I was so tired of no one saying or doing anything. Even after I posted my story, only a couple of close friends said anything to me about it, but oh what a difference their support has made to me. Then, the past few weeks, I’ve been first caring for a sick family, and then down with strep myself while also launching my new book, Who Am I Without You and completing the manuscript for my third book, all within a couple of days of each other! Add to that three snow days in a row, and it was literally the “perfect storm.” I could not have done it without the help of my husband and kids. Yes, I had to bribe my kids to watch each other so I could finish my book while I was sick and they were all home (at 3:30 in the morning!), but they did it. They were truly there for me. And so was a friend who saw my need in a Facebook post and brought me dinner that night. We need to just be there. We need to say, “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here.” We need to show up when times are tough and support each other through. It doesn’t take any special kind of skills. It simply takes great love. (Read “The Do’s & Don’ts of Helping Others Through Grief)

 

2) Cheer each other on through the good times. It’s not just about being there when times are tough, though that’s definitely important. It’s also about being there when things are going well, through the successes–it’s about cheering one another on. I know some of us struggle with this. Whether it’s jealousy or discomfort with others’ successes, or whether somehow their successes Friends, Family, & support- 10 Ways to Be there for Each other-www.DrChristinaHibbert.commake us feel “less than,” some of us do struggle to cheer others on. We must get over this and be there for one another. There is plenty of success to go around! I threw a book launch party a week and one-half ago, here in my hometown. It was simple and short, because I had a book launch, another book due, and I was sick all in the same three days! But I wanted to celebrate, and I wanted my friends to celebrate with me. I was pleasantly surprised how many of my friends came down to support me. Even though most of them are happily married, and my newest book is a “breakup” book (though it’s really a self-esteem book for anyone!), they came down, hugged me, bought a book, had me sign it, and smiled and laughed and had a great time (my daughters, too!)! Even my launch partners have done this online, with encouraging social media posts, emails, and even a blog tour (See articles from “JulieHanks.com,” “30SecondMom.com,” and “DrSarahAllen.com!”) Were there some close friends who haven’t shown me that kind of love and support? Unfortunately, yes. But was I feeling loved? Yes. Absolutely. Even the “good” times can be stressful. We still need to be there for each other.

 

3) Learn from Each Other. Watching and emulating those we respect and admire is one of the greatest ways to be there for each other. Just after my “Who Am I Without You” book launch and 3rd book deadline (8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, with Norton, coming early 2016!), I was needed out of town as an expert witness in a trial. Like I said, it’s been a “full” couple of weeks! I’d been working on this case for over two years, and was as prepared as I could be, but this was my first time actually testifying as an expert witness in a full trial. I had no clue what I was supposed to do. So, I let myself be a blank slate, and the attorneys in the case were patient, spent hours with me, and taught me all about how to do my new “job.” I also had more experienced colleagues give me some pointers, and overall, I felt so supported and ready for whatever came my way. We have so many opportunities to learn from each other each day. All we have to do is open up and receive the knowledge, the wisdom, the gift of being shown “how.”

 

4) Teach one another. I love to teach, probably because I learn the most when I teach others. But I couldn’t do what I do–as a psychologist, author, blogger, speaker, and especially as a mother–without the willingness of others to open up, to ask for help, to listen, and to receive it. In return, I learn so much from those in my life, too–my clients, friends, family, my husband, and yes, especially my kids. We each have something important to teach. We each have talents and gifts, and we must share them with the world! The world, and each of us in it, will be so much better off if we do.

 

5) Build others up. Years ago, in high school, I started to wonder why we don’t just tell each other

My friends, Elisa & Cheryl from 30SecondMom, at my launch party in Chicago!

My friends, Elisa & Cheryl from 30SecondMom, at my launch party in Chicago!

the good things we think about one another. I made a commitment then and there to do whatever I could to make sure I shared the kind, loving things I think about others, so they will know. I’ve strived to share compliments with others whenever I think them, ever since. We mustn’t hide the good stuff we see in others. As one of my favorite quotes says, “We cannot see ourselves. We need a mirror to see ourselves. You are my mirror and I am yours.” ~Debbie Ford. Be that mirror.  Tell others the good you see in them. You never know what a difference you can make.

 

6) Accept the good others see in us. When someone gives you a compliment, do you say, “Thank you?” or do you push it away? Too many times we push the good off, saying, “Oh, no. I’m not really like that.” But we must let the good in. If others are opening up enough to share the good they see in us, then we must be open enough to receive it. Let the good stuff in. We need that good from others; it helps us grow.

 

7) Show compassion. When others mess up, we can choose to show compassion. When their hurt is hurting us, we can choose to show compassion. Compassion is healing for the soul–both for their soul and especially for ours. The next time someone is screaming out in pain, take a deep breath, put your own fears and needs aside, and show some compassion.

 

8) Forgive. My kids forgive me all the time, because I ask for it. When I mess up as a mom, I do my best to acknowledge my wrongs and tell the kids I am sorry. And I do my best to forgive others, too. Forgiveness is cleansing, powerful, loving, and yes, forgiveness heals. Not just the one we forgive. Forgiveness heals us.

 

9) Be kind. Do kind gestures for others. Offer a smile, a hug, a listening ear. Pick up their kids for Friends, Family, & support- 10 Ways to Love & Be there for Each other; www.DrChristina Hibbert.comthem, drive them somewhere, or help them into the house with their groceries. And no, kindness does not mean you become “weak.” Sometimes, kindness is doing the hard thing–correcting a child, pushing someone to reach their potential, or setting boundaries with unhealthy relationships. The kind thing is the loving thing, and the loving thing may not always feel easy or even good. I always tell my kids, “You don’t have to be nice to be kind.” No matter what, choose kindness.

 

10) Remember: We truly are one. When we hurt another soul, we hurt ourselves. When we love one another, when we forgive and let go of anger, hurt, or pain; when we teach and learn from each other and show kindness and compassion, then we thrive. We truly cannot do “it” alone, my friends. We need each other. Love is what makes this crazy, beautiful world–and each of us in it–go ’round.

 

 

What are your thoughts on “being there” for each other? Share them by leaving a comment, below!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Available now at TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

“So much more than a breakup book, this is a guide to self-worth for anyone, all in a neat little 52-lesson package!”

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s IPPY Award-winning Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow!
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“Motherhood. Mental Illness. Out Loud.”–Happy Birthday, STIGMAMA!

Stigmama-Motherhood. Mental Illness. Out Loud; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Stigmama-Motherhood. Mental Illness. Out Loud; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI wasn’t planning on posting today. Yesterday, my second book, Who Am I Without You (with New Harbinger Publications), came out–successfully, thank goodness! And today my third book manuscript, on “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” (with Norton Publishing) is due! I should also mention that I have strep, I’ve barely slept, oh, and today’s a snow day, so I have five kids bored at home as well!

 

But, this is motherhood. This is the insanity and the wonder, the misery and the bliss. And despite all that’s happening in my mama world, I had to take a minute to share my congratulations to a fabulous blog that is all about this reality of motherhood–Stigmama!

 

 

Stigmama: “Motherhood. Mental Illness. Out Loud.”

Stigmama was founded by my friend and colleague, Dr. Walker Karraa (whose new book, Transformed by Postpartum Depression, recently came out and is getting excellent reviews!). What Walker has been able to do in one year with this site is incredible and inspiring. Thousands of Facebook likes, over 70 contributors, and real articles about motherhood, mental illness, overcoming stigma, and making change! It’s a place you can go to think, and speak, out loud about all that’s not quite right in the world–to seek answers to make things better.

 

 

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness: My Passion, too

Motherhood mental illness, and especially overcoming stigma, are topics I am passionate about as

I'm wearing my "Super Gal: Defender of all Things Good!" shirt today--to motivate me in my duties as mom and author! This reminds me of Walker Karraa and Stigmata--Super and defending all that's good.

I’m wearing my “Super Gal: Defender of all Things Good!” shirt today–to motivate me in my duties as mom and author! This reminds me of Walker Karraa and Stigmama–Super and defending all that’s good.

well. I am two posts into my year-long “Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” campaign, with the goal of showing that people who struggle with depression are normal, healthy, even highly successful individuals and that the more we talk about depression, the more we make it real. The more we seek to understand and be there for one another–the greater our chances of overcoming depression.

 

I’ve also spoken out about the stigma of suicide for surviving family members and how, the suicide of a loved one is like a scarlet A on one’s chest, a secret we’re meant to keep, yet everyone knows. It’s a secret we mustn’t carry. It is only in talking about suicide–about prevention, education, help, support, and hope for those who are considering suicide and for those who love them–that we can stop the stigma and begin to heal.

 

In my new book, Who Am I Without You, I look at self-esteem and self-worth after a breakup or divorce. Though breakups are common, affecting over 50% of marriages, unfortunately, the stigma of divorce is common, too. Many of my clients are women, and men, who desperately wanted to keep their families together, but because of circumstances beyond their control–i.e. spouses who cheat, lie, abuse, or leave–they’re now facing the isolation that can too often come after a breakup or divorce. This deeply affects one’s self-esteem, and I am relieved to hear that those who are reading Who Am I Without You are already beginning to heal, knowing they are not alone, and that someone understands. In fact, anyone going through a life loss can benefit from this book, since it’s a step by step guide to reclaiming your worth and flourishing in life again. It is the antidote to stigma!

 

Finally, a few months ago, I wrote about my experiences with the woman charged to 40 years in prison, without parole, after she injured her baby due to postpartum psychosis. I am still deeply affected by that experience and still working to help her be free. But what really disturbs me is just how easily other people can dismiss her and let her spend her whole life in prison! Those who suffer from mental illness are so easily cast aside. Everyone seems to turn their eyes away instead of taking that courageous deeper look to see the truth.

 

And the truth is this: Stigma is real. Stigma is like a hungry wolf, preying on the weak and afflicted, pushing them further away from their families, friends, and from the treatment they so desperately need. We must band together if we have any chance of erasing stigma, and Stigmama is doing precisely that.

 

 

Congratulations, Stigmama! Keep up the Incredible Work!

Congratulations, Dr. Karraa and Stigmama! The work you are doing is making a difference. The voice you provide others means something. It means we are truly never alone. It means we can, and must, speak up about stigma and mental illness. It means that Mamas everywhere are ready to join the cause–to stop the stigma of maternal mental illness so we can finally start living!
 
 

Join the “Happy Birthday Stigmama Blog Hop, here!

 

 

What do you want to say “out loud?” Leave a comment below and speak your mind–on motherhood, stigma, mental illness, and a better world!

 
 
"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Available now at TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

“So much more than a breakup book, this is a guide to self-worth for anyone, all in a neat little 52-lesson package!”

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s IPPY Award-winning Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow!
Available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 Stigmama-Motherhood. Mental Illness. Out Loud; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Don’t miss a thing! 

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Related Posts/Articles:

Self-Esteem & Self-Worth: “Who Am I?” (Hint–You’re More Than You Think) Preview my NEW Book “Who Am I Without You”!

#SELFESTEEM & #SELFWORTH: "Who Am I?" Hint--you're more than you think! (Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou!) www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

#SELFESTEEM & #SELFWORTH: "Who Am I?" Hint--you're more than you think! (Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou!) www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
 
It’s time! My brand new book, Who Am I Without You, is being officially released this week! In honor of the book release, I’d love to share with you a preview of another one of my favorite chapters in this post. Hope it gives you a good feel for all you can learn about self-esteem, self-worth, and overcoming life’s toughest trials with a strong sense of who you truly are. (If you missed it, here’s a preview of Chapter 1.)
 
 
 
 
 

Chapter 22: Ask, “Who Am I?”

Hint—You’re More Than You Think.

“What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘

Who am I then?’ The one who sees that.”

~Eckhart Tolle

“Who Am I?” How would you answer this huge question?

I’ve asked clients and friends (and myself) many times, and I’ve heard all kinds of answers—“I’m a single mom,” “I’m an optimist,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m an eternal soul,” “I’m trying to figure that out.” It’s how we introduce ourselves to people—“My name is so and so and I work as a such and such and I like doing this and that.” For many, it’s easy to answer: “I’m a short, blond, artist;” “I’m a mom, a nurse, and I have a passion for scrapbooking.” For others, it’s not so easy: “It’s something I ask myself all the time;” “I’m not sure who I am yet, but I am learning.”

The way I see it, there are two ways to answer the question, “Who am I?”: 1) with our head and heart, or 2) with our soul. The head and heart tell us some facts about who we are, but it’s the soul that answers the question, “Yes, but who are you, really?”

 

You are not how you look, how you feel, or what you think.

Short or tall, fair or dark, thin or not-so-thin—these describe your body. But are you your body? No. It’s part of you, but it’s definitely only part of the story.Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou in this post, "Who Am I?" Hint--You're more than you think! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com

How about your feelings? They can certainly be powerful; at times, it can seem like they are you. Yet, emotions arise from all kinds of things—the weather, hormones, sleep or lack thereof, challenges, blessings. We’ve already discussed how emotions may come or go like the weather (chapter seven). You are so much more than your emotions.

Then, what about your thoughts? Our thoughts heavily influence how we feel, what we do, and even what we believe, it’s true. Many people get so caught up in their thoughts they actually believe they are those thoughts. Nope. We are not our thoughts. The fact that we can talk about our thoughts proves there’s more to us than what we think.

 

You are not your roles.

“I am darn-tough/” target=”_blank”>a mother.” “I am a teacher.” “I am a partner.” We tend to focus heavily on our roles. This can be especially tough after a breakup when suddenly, “I’m a wife,” or “I’m a girlfriend” no longer applies. Roles are helpful in categorizing our lives. They help us understand our responsibilities and fulfill them. Roles give us a certain simplicity to life, but roles change, don’t they? As you are going through life transition, you’re surely feeling that. You are not your roles.

 

You are not what you do.

Many of us get caught up in what we do—or don’t do. We take on the identity of a “successful business woman” or “a runner” or “an animal lover.” For instance, I am a psychologist. It is heavily ingrained in the way I think and act in the world. I have a strong curiosity to comprehend how we humans work, and I have a natural ability to understand and have compassion for others. These things make me good at what I do, but do they define who I am? No. They’re just part of how I express myself in this world.

 

Who are you—in your soul?

So, if none of these things we think with our head or feel with our heart gives us the full picture, then I ask again, “Who are you, really?”

This is a question that can only be answered with the soul—with that deeper part of you, that timeless, ingrained knowing that you are more than meets the eye. As we work to discover your sense of self-worth, you will feel that bigger, eternal part of yourself, and you will know that your potential is endless and your ability to love is immense. You will come to know the real you—not the you everyone sees or hears or thinks they know, but the you that was created for a great purpose. You will begin to see yourself as God sees you, and that is true self-worth.

 

Integrating the mind, heart, and soul of who you are.

As we move into how to build unwavering self-esteem, it can help to see who you think and feel you are, because the more you see of yourself and how you are in the world, the more you can integrate it with who you really are, deep in your soul.

That’s what we’re working toward here—to hear what you’re saying in your head and feeling in your heart, and then bring them in line with what you experience in your soul. Are these three areas saying the same thing about who you are? Do you like what you are hearing?

 

Bottom line…

  • “Who am I?” is a huge question, and we tend to answer it with our head or our heart.
  • We are not our roles, our feelings, our thoughts, or behaviors. However, these things can help us understand ourselves better when integrated with the truth from our soul.

 

Tool: Ask, “Who am I?”

  • Head: Grab your journal or a paper and pen and sit in a quiet space. Create your “who am I” list. Write out all the titles and roles and qualities your head tells you that you are. Don’t judge, just list.

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION: Men, Illness, & Mental Health–Pernell’s Story

The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION: #Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, #2 in a 12 part series

The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION: #Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, #2 in a 12 part seriesI can’t tell you how thrilled I am to begin my “Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” blog series. After reviewing dozens of submissions, I’ve selected 12 individuals to share their stories of depression, hope, and healing.

 

The faces that accompany these posts are those of regular men and women of all walks and races, demonstrating that depression doesn’t play favorites–it can strike any of us, and there are many ways to treat it, recover, and heal. These stories show the many experiences of depression, the various ways it comes about, and how it affects daily life, work, family, and relationships.

 

My hope is that, through these stories, we will be able to 1) expose the many faces of depression–the people who suffer and how they overcome, so that 2) others may better understand depression, and 3) we may raise awareness of depression to 4) overcome the stigma. That we may learn to 4) ask about depression, and especially, that we may 5) begin to talk about it.

 

Men, Illness, & Mental Health: Story 2–Pernell

I started this series with my own story, a few months ago, and today, I am honored to share Pernell’s story.

 

I’ve known Pernell and his family through church and socially for the past 10 years. Pernell is a successful attorney with a beautiful wife (my kids’ amazing piano teacher) and family of four daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and 5 grandchildren. He is a warm, intelligent leader, and someone people admire in our community.
 
When I received Pernell’s blog post submission I was surprised, to say the least. I remember when he went through the medical experiences he describes below, and I knew it had been very hard on him and his family. But I had no idea Pernell had ever suffered from depression. From the outside, you could never tell; this is one reason I wanted to do this series–because, as I said in my story, “You can’t always tell by looking.”
 
I hope, through reading Pernell’s words, you will feel the love he has for his family, for life, and for others suffering from mental health concerns. Yes, men get depression. Yes, it can often be triggered by health issues. And yes, it can happen to those who are successful and seem to “have it all.” Read on, and you’ll see what I mean. Then, join me again next month for story 3 as we FACE DEPRESSION, together.
 

 

Pernell’s Story

“15 years ago my brother was diagnosed with a rare liver disorder.  Within 3 years he needed a transplant.  His best chance of survival was to receive a liver from a living donor.  I volunteered and was a match. In April 2006 I donated 60% of my liver to him.  A week after leaving the hospital I was re-admitted due to a bile duct leak.  Try as they might, the doctors could not locate the leak.  I became so ill the doctors were about to operate again.  I had to fast for 3 days because of all the tests.  My hair began to fall out.  Finally, the doctors located the leak, inserted a stent and I began to recover.  However, during that week I remember sitting on a gurney waiting for an MRI.  I was left alone, and all of the sudden began to feel intense anxiety.  I remember thinking, ‘this is silly, just calm down!’  But, I couldn’t.  It was probably only a few minutes, but I was so relieved when someone finally came to get me.

 

“After discharge, I returned home to recover.  I was anxious to return to work and felt that six weeks was long enough. I did not take into account, however, the complications.   At that time, I was in a dispute with my partners over some issues.  I prepared a memo outlining the changes I wanted to see or I would leave.  During a meeting I shared the memo with the junior partners in hopes that they would support my position. They were not supportive. Disappointed, I simply returned to the daily grind of work when a few days after the meeting, I received a memo from the firm’s most senior partner attacking me for insubordination and calling an emergency meeting.  Immediately I knew that one of the junior partners  had relayed my memo to the senior partners.  I was shocked and horrified when I opened that memo and in my weakened physical and emotional condition from the transplant was simply not prepared for a battle.

 

“I went home and tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  I felt enormous pain in my abdomen and thought it was another complication.  My wife drove me to the Mayo clinic the next day, but they found nothing wrong.  Slowly, the pains subsided, and I went back to work.  From that day, however, something was not right.  I could not sleep or concentrate.  Even the most menial of tasks were beyond my capacity.  I would cry The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION--#Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com (2nd in a 12 part series)over anything.  I could barely talk to my clients. I came home one day for lunch and could barely whisper to my wife, ‘I’m in trouble, I need help.’  She  called a psychologist. He agreed to see me and it was apparent I had anxiety and depression.  Initially, it was a great relief to be able to put a label on what I was feeling.  But that did not make the feelings go away.  The anxiety was so intense, that my heart would beat twice as fast as normal.  My teeth would chatter together.  My saliva glands and tear ducts were on overload.  I could not sleep more than 3 hours a night, and when I did, I did not dream. I also was depressed. I could see no point to life.  I remember seeing people walk their dogs and thinking, ‘what a completely worthless thing to do.’  Life had lost all meaning to me.  I thought that I would gladly go through the pain of the transplant again just to stop the emotional pain I was feeling.  I kept asking God why this would happen to me.  I had done what I thought was a good thing by helping my brother and could not understand why I was being punished.

 

“The hardest part was actually believing I would ever get better. I did not believe it.  I felt I had been permanently damaged.   That my brain chemistry had been forever altered. But, I kept seeing the psychologist.  I walked every day with my wife.  I would go to work and tell myself that if I could just make it until noon, I could go home and see my wife and everything would be O.K.  I would then go back to work and tell myself the same thing to get to the end of the day.   Through it all I continued to work, but for six months I was deeply depressed.  I resolved to find something to laugh about each day.  It’s weird being depressed and laughing, but that is what I did.  Slowly, the depression began to fade, but not the anxiety.  I have lived with that in some measure for the past 8 years.  It was almost cyclical.  I would be fine for a couple of weeks and then have a really bad week.  I left my former law firm about a year after all of the problems began and founded a very successful law firm.  Even so, every Sunday night the anxiety would hit me the hardest as I thought about having to go to work the next day.  At this point, the anxiety is all but gone.  I am not depressed.  I have an amazing wife and family, and other blessings too numerous to count.

 

“However, I know first hand the ugliness of mental illness.  Compared to the pain of being a liver donor, mental illness wins hands down.  I have learned there are many who suffer and need help.  While I  have no professional credentials, I have learned how to offer encouragement, empathy and  compassion to those who suffer.  I also learned that there is always hope.  Even though I could not see it at the depths of my despair,  I was able to persevere long enough to get my head above water long enough to see the edge of the pool and at least know that somehow I could get there.  Thankfully, with a lot of help I was able to get there and recover.”

 

~Pernell McGuire
Flagstaff, AZ

 
 

Share your thoughts. What would you like to say to Pernell? What do you understand about depression, and what would you like the world to understand? Leave a comment, below, and let your voice be heard!

 
 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 
 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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Loss, Love & A NEW Way to do Valentine’s Day: 10 Ways to GROW in Love

Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comAs I write, it’s a few days before Valentine’s Day. The world seems to be covered in pink and red, candy hearts, and flowers; it’s beautiful. I, however, am thinking of those who don’t have a Valentine this year.

 

Love, Loss, & Valentine’s Day

Perhaps it’s because I’m about to release my new book on self-esteem after a breakup or divorce. Perhaps it’s because I’m thinking of my dear friend who died last April and of her husband, facing this Valentine’s Day alone for the first time. Perhaps, it’s because I know all too well that most love stories have sudden drops and falls, and I know there are so many who are feeling this now.

 

I can’t help but think of my parents, who always send us Valentine’s cards and who are missing their two departed daughters, and son-in-law, again this year. I think of my grandmothers, who have been living without their beloved husbands for years, or my mother-in-law, a widow of almost six years. I think of my own losses. And, I remember how much I have loved, and been loved.

 

Those who have lost a loved one—a parent, a child, a partner, a spouse, a friend—know what I mean. These simple holidays can bring up a great deal of pain, or at least, a great deal of memories.

 

 

A NEW Way to do Valentine’s Day: GROW in Love

Valentine’s Day can put such pressure on us to be in love and to show it through gifts and grand romantic gestures. But what if, instead, Valentine’s Day could serve as a beautiful, vivid reminder that we have loved, and that we may continue to love? What if it could serve as a tribute to our loss and continued love? What if this Valentine’s Day could be our opportunity to grow in love?

 

Growing in love means choosing to open our hearts, to receive love when it comes, and to give love freely. It means choosing to become more full of love for everyone we meet, and especially for those who need it most. As we grow in love, we become more at peace, full of joy, and the best part? We feel loved in return. Isn’t life really about growing in love, rather than falling in love, anyway? Falling may be an important start, but growing in love is deeper, more lasting, and crucial to healing and personal growth.

 

 

10 Ways to Grow in Love: On Valentine’s Day, and Every Day

Here are 10 ways to get you started growing in love. Pick one, or two, or all, and give them a try. By discovering a new way to do Valentine’s Day you just might discover something of great value: hope, healing, self-worth, and yes, greater love.

 

  • Practice opening your heart. This is a simple, important way to start. If our heart isn’t open, it’s hard to grow in love. Try this: Sit in a quiet place and breathe deeply. Focus on your heart as you continue to breathe. Does it feel open, relaxed, and ready to give and receive love? Or, does it feel closed and guarded? Just notice it, but don’t judge, as you breathe. Think of someone you love dearly. Picture them vividly in your mind. What do you love about them? How do they make you feel? Purposefully open your heart to that love. Continue to breathe as you focus on feeling greater love for them and keeping your heart open. Practice opening your heart for five minutes, and then, continue to open your heart throughout the day. When you feel your heart closing, take a deep breath and open again. It may be difficult at first, but if you practice each day, you will become more open to the gift of love.

 

  • Practice self-love. It’s true we cannot give what we do not possess. If we don’t love ourselves, it’s
    Give yourself a little love, or help someone else get a loving break.

    Give yourself a little love, or help someone else get a loving break.

    very hard to love others and grow in love. Start practicing self-love. Do something kind for yourself today. Nothing too fancy or extravagant, but something that helps you feel self-love. It could be a hot bath, a walk with a friend, a trip to the mall, a movie night, or anything you need. Whatever you’d do to show someone else kindness, do that for yourself today. (More on how to practice self-love here.)

 

  • Serve. It doesn’t matter whom. It doesn’t matter how. Service is healing to the grieving heart, and to us all. Listen to a friend in need, volunteer at a food bank, or visit someone who’s in the hospital. Just serve. In your own way. Your heart will soar in love as a result.

 

  • Do an anonymous act of kindness today. Pay for someone else’s meal, pick up trash in someone’s yard, drop cookies on someone’s doorstep. Look for opportunities to do an act of kindness, and take it.

 

  • Send a card or note to someone who’s lost love recently—on Valentine’s Day, or on any day. Let them know you’re thinking of them and that you remember their loved one, too. When my youngest sister, Miki, died at age 8, her best friend continued to bring my mom flowers every year on Miki’s birthday. We will never forget that act of love. Gestures such as this can mean the world to the grieving, and healing, heart. (More on Helping Others Through Grief & Loss, here)

 

  • Offer to watch someone’s children while they go for an evening out. Help a mother, father, or couple to get time together or an evening out with friends, to give them a break from the job of parenting and refresh them.

 

  • Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them, “I was just thinking about you and want to hear all about your life.” It’s not only giving love, it’s helping you receive greater friendship and love in return.

 

  • Give a big smile and say “Hello!” to strangers. You never know who needs that smile and acknowledgement. You could make someone’s day or even be a turning point in their life. And, when you put love out, you get so much more in return.

 

  • Receive love. When someone offers you a compliment, a kind word, a loving gesture—say, “Thank you,” and mean it. Don’t push love away. Breathe, and let it in. It will fill and grow you, and you’ll have so much more love to give.

 

  • Hug as many people as you can. I am a hugger. I know the power of a love-filled hug. You’d be surprised how many people are craving for that little bit of love through a hug. Especially those who’ve lost a spouse or partner; give them a hug. Don’t worry about what they will think. If you’re doing it out of genuine love, it will always be well-received. Hug as often as others let you; it will heal you both and help you grow in love.

 

 

What are your thoughts on this new way to do Valentine’s Day? What suggestions do you have to help you, and others, grow in love? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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 Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
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About Dr. Christina Hibbert
Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She really hopes you’ll join the Personal Growth Group and choose to grow together!

Comments

  1. Thank you, Christi, for this wonderful meditation! I just did it after a long and stressful day, and it completely relaxed me and renewed my spirit! You are a wonderful guide. Thank you for all you share. I learn and grow so much with you! Keep the meditations coming!!

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Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: “Spirit Meditation” [video]

#Meditation for #MentalHealth, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #video #YouTube #blog #spirituality #personalgrowth

#Meditation for #MentalHealth, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #video #YouTube #blog #spirituality #personalgrowthI haven’t always been a meditator. I used to think it was kind of strange, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try it for a long time. But about six years ago, when I was going through some of my hardest trials, a craving for peace, personal, and spiritual growth began pulling me toward mindfulness and meditation. I was in need of something–something new, something to calm and center me, something to quiet my mind, something to bring a greater sense of mental health and wellness.

 

The Power of Meditation

Enter meditation. I first attempted to meditate by sitting still and breathing. I’d been practicing deep breathing for years and had done visualization exercises plenty of times with my clients and myself. But this time, I was trying to quiet my overstimulated, overwhelmed mind. I was trying not to think. I was trying to let go of every thought that came. It was extremely difficult. I found myself thinking about all kinds of other things; my mind wandered and I seemed at a loss to bring it back. I felt frustrated and defeated.

 

I attempted again, many times, and yes, it became a little more “do-able” over time, but mostly, it was a struggle for me. I’d studied and knew of the many benefits of meditation, and I wanted those benefits. But, I figured, maybe I just wasn’t cut out for meditating.

 

I was wrong. A couple years later, having given up on meditation, I attended a women’s conference and the speaker led us through a powerful meditation. As I write, in This is How We Grow, “I could actually feel my spirit. I comprehended, even for a moment, that it truly has no beginning and no end. When I focused, I could expand my spirit even bigger than my body, allowing me to experience just how vast each soul truly is. Meditation–I’d been trying to do it for so long, yet [the speaker] converted me in a five-minute experience. I was hooked.” (p. 363)

 

 

Meditation for Mental Health: Benefits

I was hooked, and I still am. Meditation has become a staple of my mornings, along with exercise, Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditationprayer, and scripture study. It has become a portal to greater peace, focus, and awareness in my daily life, a gateway to a deeper spiritual connection and power throughout each day. When I meditate, I feel more focused and efficient in my work, more patient in my parenting, and more loving in my relationships. When I forget to meditate, I feel the difference, and I miss it greatly.

 

Meditation and mindfulness have been studied often and shown to improve mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Here are some of the specific benefits meditation offers:

1) Greater sense of peace and calm.

2) Clearer mind and thinking.

3) Helps you focus on the present, bringing a greater sense of awareness to your world, loved ones, and blessings.

4) Improves the immune system, which means less illness and greater overall health (which is also great for mental health!).

5) Helps reduce and manage life stress. Mindfulness meditation not only lowers stress; it leads to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

6) Helps reduce negative emotions, and can benefit emotional health after the meditation is over because it changes the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.

7) Shown to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain.

8) Can actually change the brain in positive ways that may protect against mental illness.

9) Can improve sleep!

10) Meditation has been shown to increase compassion and a desire to “do good.”

11) A wonderful tool for personal growth, calming the thinking mind and opening one up to a deeper sense of who you truly are.

12) Can increase spiritual awareness, openness, and connection with God and the Divine.

 

 

The Spirit Meditation

I’ve experienced all of these benefits, and that’s a big reason I keep making myself practice mindfulness and meditation each day, and why I’m hoping you will give it a try, too.

 

Below is a video of my favorite meditation. It’s based off the one I wrote about above, the one that opened me up to the true power of meditation. Though there are countless ways to meditate, and I often try different techniques, this one is my favorite. It’s the one I do most days, and I want to share it with you. I also share it in my new book, Who Am I Without You?, along with several other tools that can help anyone going through anything, so I hope you’ll visit the link just above and check those out, too!

 

What can Meditation do for YOU? Let’s find out…

Click on the video below and give yourself the gift of 7 minutes today. Only 7 minutes to see how meditation might benefit you! Then, leave me a comment, below, or on my YouTube channel, and tell me all about it. I hope it’s one of the best things you learn to do for your mental well-being, personal growth, and spirituality, too!

 

You need to install or upgrade Flash Player to view this content, install or upgrade by clicking here.

 
 

What are your thoughts on mindfulness and meditation? Have you practiced meditation? If so, what kinds of exercises do you prefer? What benefits have you experienced? Did you try the “Spirit Meditation ” What did you think? I’d love to hear all about it, so please leave a comment, below!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Pre-order Who Am I Without You at AmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, Target, or your local bookseller!

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditation
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10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: “You’re not alone”

Preview Chapter 1 here!

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: "You're Not Alone." A preview of chapter 1 of Dr. Christina Hibbert's new book, Who Am I Without You? www.DrchristinaHibbert.com  
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This post is adapted from my new book, Who Am I Without You? with New Harbinger Publications, coming March 1, 2015 (and available for pre-order now)!

In fact, this post is a preview of chapter one.

If you’re going through a breakup, divorce, or relationship loss, then this post [and the book] are for you. If you have a loved one going through it, then this is the perfect gift.

 
 

“I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.”
~Anna White

 

Relationship loss—we’ve all experienced it, or will at some point. I’m no exception. I may not have experienced your exact heartache or circumstances, but trust me: I understand loss. I’m here to help you through.

 
 

You’re not alone.

Knowing you’re not alone is one of the most important things when a relationship ends, because it can feel very alone. It can feel like, “No one gets how I feel right now.” You’re right: No one does understand exactly how you feel. We each have our unique experience of loss after a breakup. However, it’s also true you may be feeling many of the same things women have been feeling for years, and that can actually be freeing.

 
 
If you feel broken from your breakup or loss, “You’re not alone.”

Experiencing a breakup is a universal loss. Sad but true, breakups and divorce are one of the most common human experiences. Just look at the statistics:

• 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States (APA website, 2013).

• For second marriages, the divorce rate is 60-65%, and third marriages, 72-74% (Divorce Statistics website, 2013).

• Though there aren’t any solid statistics on breakups, some estimate one-third of women have experienced a significant breakup in the past ten years.

 

Whether you’re young or old, divorcing or splitting from your boyfriend; whether it ended civilly or with a text that said, “Sorry, babe. It’s over,” it still hurts. Considering these statistics, there are a lot of hurting women out there.

You’re not alone.

 
 

If your self-esteem has taken a hit after your breakup, “You’re not alone.”

How is your self-esteem right now? If you’re fresh from a breakup, I would guess it’s at an all-time low. Take this brief assessment and see for yourself.

Self-Esteem Assessment

Directions: Place a check mark beside all sentences that apply to you right now.

1) I feel confident most of the time._____
2) I often think negatively about myself._____
3) I feel worthy of love._____
4) I am fearful of or sensitive to rejection._____
5) I accept my flaws and work on them._____
6) I give others’ opinions of me more weight than my own._____
7) I take good care of myself and tend to my needs._____
8) I often compare myself, my life, or my relationships to others._____
9) I feel attractive._____
10) I feel like other people don’t accept me._____
11) I feel capable of achieving success in my life._____
12) I often feel fearful or anxious, especially around others._____
13) I often think positively about myself._____
14) I feel inadequate or inferior to others._____
15) I embrace my strengths and my weaknesses._____
16) I am concerned, and often critical, about my body and looks._____
17) I feel comfortable in social situations._____
18) I have difficulty trusting others._____
19) I understand who I really am, and I like me._____
20) I am a perfectionist._____

Scoring:
Give yourself one point for every odd number you checked, and one point for every even number you did not check. Add up your score. Then, compare, below.

Results:
20-16: High Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem seems strong, especially considering all you’ve been going through. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a thing or two to learn about self-worth and self-esteem, but it does mean you’re starting off in pretty great shape.

15-11: High Average Self-Esteem
You have your moments when you feel “less than,” but overall, your self-esteem is okay. There’s room for improvement, but you’ve got a foundation on which to build.

10-6: Low Average Self-Esteem
You struggle with self-esteem, or at least, you’re struggling now. Don’t worry, though. That’s what this book is for: to show you how to improve.

5-0: Low Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem has definitely taken a hit—either from your breakup, or from earlier in life. You’re not the only one who struggles, however, and you’re certainly not beyond hope. Together, we will help you discover the truth about who you are and rebuild your sense of self-worth.

 
 
If you feel like no one’s on your side, you’re wrong. (Did I mention, “You’re Not Alone?”)

I’m here. Or rather, this post (and my new book) is here—with my words, encouragement, comfort, motivation, direction, and yes, love. You can visit this post (or the book) any time and know that as I write these words for you, I do so out of respect and admiration for your willingness to work through your heartache. I do so out of a desire for you to know you’re not alone. One day, you’ll be flourishing in life and love again.

 
 
Tool: Examine your true feelings.

1) When I say, “You’re Not Alone,” how do you really feel? Do you believe me? Do you have doubts? Write about this in your journal or notebook.

2) How do you feel about your self-esteem assessment score? In what ways might your self-esteem be impacted by your breakup? Did you struggle with self-esteem previously? Can you relate to any of the things I wrote about above, like feeling “less than” or “unlovable”? Why or why not? Write it down.

(Excerpt from Who Am I Without You, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, with New Harbinger Publications.)

 
 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Pre-order Who Am I Without You at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

Coming March 1, 2015!

 
 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: "You're Not Alone." A preview of chapter 1 of Dr. Christina Hibbert's new book, Who Am I Without You? www.DrchristinaHibbert.com

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 
 
 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

 

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

 

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goalsAs I write this, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and we all know the first Monday of the new year is the busiest day for personal growth. We turn our thoughts to letting go of the past and creating our vision for the future—or, at least, we try to.

 

We set goals, make resolutions, develop themes, and put our good intentions to work. At least, for a while. Research shows that by the end of January each year, approximately 64% of people are still working on their resolutions, wheras six months later, only 44% are sticking with it.[1]

 

However, we mustn’t give up hope, for research also shows that those who resolve to make positive change in their lives, whether they reach their goals right away or not, are ultimately more successful than those who fail to even try.

 

Why is it so hard to change?

Why is it so hard to achieve personal growth? I have a few ideas…

 

1) We don’t know how to change. We may know we want x, y, or z; we may really want to improve this, or overcome that. But, we don’t know how.

 

2) Change is hard, by nature. It’s part of the process of growth and change to struggle and fail, and to have to go back to the drawing board and try again. Understanding and even expecting this “spiral of change” is the key to true growth.

 

3) We focus too much on our own version of what “successful” change should look like, failing to see how much we’ve actually grown in the process. We think if we don’t stick to our goal, or if we mess up, we’ve failed, so we quit. We give up too soon, not realizing that “success” is really about growing, not about achieving some idealized goal.

 

4) We don’t have the support we need to stick with it. We need motivation, dedication, inspiration to make lasting change! When we are trying to change on our own, we may feel these things for a while, but long-term it definitely helps to have some encouragement, advice, and assistance from others.

 

So, what are we to do?

 

I am thrilled to introduce my This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan!

Register Now!

Based on my bestselling, IPPY Award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow, this 30-Day Personal Growth Plan is designed to show you how to make lasting change, to teach you the skills and tools you need to grow to where you want to be. This plan draws from the lessons, insights, and practical tools and skills I’ve utilized in my own life and with my clients to help you overcome, become, and flourish!

 

Make Lasting Change & GROW!

Whatever your current goals, whatever your current challenges, this plan will be a valuable guide you will want to draw from for years to come. I know, because I’m working the plan along with you! In fact, I’ve created this plan at the suggestion of one of the judges from the book award I received, who said, “You should create a study guide to help people apply the lessons you teach in your book.” That’s exactly what I’ve done, and I hope it will benefit you as much as it has benefitted me.

 

Receive Daily Lessons, Tools, & Inspiration!"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

By registering, you will immediately receive the 30-day Personal Growth Plan Guide, an 8-page eBook complete with the themes for the next 30 days and an inspirational quote for each theme, to pique your interest and keep you motivated!

 

Bonus!

As a bonus, you will also receive a short email lesson from me each day, for the next 30-days, with questions and exercises to teach, encourage, and inspire you in your personal growth journey! Additionally, you will receive videos, worksheets, and other tools and exercises to ensure you not only learn but apply the skills you need to make the positive change you desire.

 

Customized Just for YOU!

 

This plan is designed to complement your unique personal growth goals, to custom fit your needs, desires, and life vision. It is here to motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough, reminding you that each day, you can “Choose to grow.”

 

Don’t miss your chance to GROW!

Register for my This is How We Grow 30-Day Growth Plan here! 

Also, be sure to subscribe, below, (if you haven’t already) so you can keep up to date on other exciting opportunities!

 

Join and stick with me as I teach, motivate, counsel, and inspire you along your personal growth path. It’s far cheaper than therapy! And hopefully, just about as helpful. Join me for your best year yet–a year of overcoming, a year of becoming, a year of flourishing–a year of growth!

 

Register Here! 

 

And if you want more personal growth lessons and support, then join my…
Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?
For more details about the Personal Growth GROUP, click here.

 

**Disclaimer: The This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group and 30-Day Personal Growth Plan are purely educational. It does not replace the need for professional mental health care, including psychotherapy.**

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 
 

 

 
 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

This Is How We Grow wins an IPPY Award in NYC & is one of Aspire Magazine’s “Top 10 Inspirational Books!”

Personal Growth & Family Vacation?: 10 Things I Learned in an RV with my Family of 8 for 8 Days

PPD & Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–The 2 Most Important Things

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise!

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

 

 

Resources:

[1] Prochaska, J., Norcross, J, and Diclemente, C. (2007). Changing for Good: A revolutionary six-stage program for overcoming bad habits and moving your life positively forward. William Morrow Publishing.

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement & Stop the Stigma! Submit Your Story/ Photo!

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLast week, I shared my personal struggles with depression in my post, Overcoming the Stigma of Depression: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety).” I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support from so many who have joined me, stating, “I, too, am the face of depression.”

 

 

Overcoming The Powerful Stigma of Mental Illness & Depression

It’s a wonderful start: getting people talking and asking about depression, and hopefully increasing understanding and support. But there’s much more to be done if we hope to one day overcome the stigma of depression.

 

Even though I’ve received dozens of messages of support from online friends and followers, I’ve only had three real-life friends/family members reach out  to me after reading my article, and two of them are really more like acquaintances than close friends. All of them have also been affected by depression, either themselves or in a close family member. They didn’t do much other than say, “I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling. How are you doing now?” Or, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Or, “I think you’re brave to have written that article. You’ve helped me be brave, too.” It helps to hear my own friends talk about it.

 

But there were only three. While I didn’t write the article to get sympathy or support from my friends and family, I was surprised by how few of them have spoken to me about it. I’m sure I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s why I wrote the article to begin with–because the stigma of depression is so strong, it silences us.

 

I’m sure most of my friends and family don’t judge or criticize me for my depression. It’s just that, unlike with other types of illness (injuries, cancer, surgery), they don’t know how to react. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing (kind of like how people don’t know how to handle grief). They don’t know what to do, especially if they haven’t experienced depression first hand. So, again, they do nothing and hope I just “get better” so we don’t have to talk about it. They click “like” on the picture of me holding my sign, and I am grateful for that. But they say nothing.

 

This is the power of stigma, my friends.

 

 

“The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement

I am getting better, day by day, thanks to my ability to overcome the stigma of depression, seek help, and let help in. I’m feeling stronger again, thanks to the support of my husband, children, and a couple of close friends."I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

But no matter how I’m feeling, I continue to feel the need to make sure this conversation doesn’t die. I need to keep giving depression a face and a voice, to lend it mine, to keep us talking about depression, and anxiety–for my children, for my clients, for my family, friends, and for myself.

 

Thus, I present “The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement. My hope is that you will join me. My hope is that we can give depression a face and a voice. My hope is that one day things will change and we will no longer feel the need to stay silent. We will no longer feel the need to hold depression as a shameful secret.

 

 

Submit your Story/ Photo & Help Me Stop the Stigma!

I invite anyone who has been touched by depression–either personally or in a loved one–to share your story and/or your photo, to publicly declare, “I, too, am the FACE of DEPRESSION.” After the submission deadline (see rules, below), I will then select 6 stories to publish in full on my website throughout 2015. I will also publish excerpts from other stories, along with as many photos as I receive. Together, we can show the many faces of depression. Together, we can help people face depression, to ask about it, and to understand it.

 

We can stop the stigma of depression. One face. One photo. One story at a time. We can give this illness a voice and, one day, stop the stigma.

 

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement! 

Submit Your Story and/or Photo!

Submission Rules & Guidelines

  1. Written submissions:
    1. Posts must focus on the theme “I am the face of depression” and share your personal story.
    2. Length of post: 600-1000 words. Longer posts will not be considered for publication.
    3. Submissions must be received no later than January 10, January 25 2015, midnight PST.
    4. Please focus on: 1) Brief details of your experiences with depression, 2) What depression feels like for you or your loved one (symptoms), and 3) What methods of treatment have been helpful for you? 4) What have you learned from depression, or how have you grown? And what would you like others to know about it? (You can use my post as a model, though keep in mind that mine is much longer than the allotted length above.)
    5. To be considered for a full post, you must include at least one photo of you, holding an “I am the face of depression” sign. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign    “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    6. If you do not wish to post a photo and do not wish to be considered for a full post, you may submit a short post with no photo.
    7. By entering, you agree to allow your article to be posted on my website, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, either in full or in part, and you also agree for your photo to be posted in “The Many Faces of Depression” collection on the same website.
    8. Authors of the 6 articles that are selected to be posted in full will be notified by email prior to publication. Others will be notified that they have not been selected and will be given information about the publication dates for excerpts.
    9. Please do not include any profanity or inappropriate material. Such articles will not be considered for publication
    10. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    11. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
  2. Photo submissions
    1. All are invited to submit a clear photo of yourself holding an “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” sign.
    2. You are welcome to download a sign, or to create your own. If you create your own, it must say, “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” or “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” and include our web address www.DrChristinaHibbert.com in font large enough to read in the picture. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign   “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    3. Only one photo entry per person, and entries must be received no later than January 10, January 25, 2015 midnight, PST.
    4. Please, no inappropriate attire or materials in the photos. Such will not be considered for publication.
    5. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    6. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE for Articles and Photos:

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Due to the holiday busyness and getting back into the new year, I’ve extended the deadline for submissions! I hope this is helpful to those of you who asked for more time. I know it’s helpful to me! 

January 10, 2015
January 25, 2015!

 

SUBMISSIONS & Questions Should Be EMAILED to:

support@drchristinahibbert.com

 

Thank you for adding your voice to mine! I look forward to seeing what we can do together! 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 You may manage your subscription options from your profile

 
 
 
 
 
 

Related Posts/Articles:

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

Create the Life You Desire: Part 2–The 3 Steps of Creating

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

This Is How We Grow wins an IPPY Award in NYC & is one of Aspire Magazine’s “Top 10 Inspirational Books!”

Personal Growth & Family Vacation?: 10 Things I Learned in an RV with my Family of 8 for 8 Days

PPD & Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–The 2 Most Important Things

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

How to Make Lasting Change!

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise!

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