Note: This is a guest essay by Syndi Grambau.
I lost my sparkle to clinical depression and anxiety.
It happened after I became a mamma to the most amazing and divine lil girl.
Somehow, all the things that I loved and all the people that I loved had somewhat disappeared into the black and white abyss.
All the little sparkly shiny bits that made me Syndi were gone! I was faced with the many challenges of mental illness and the stigma associated to such an illness.
In trying to unpack my journey and work out how the hell I got here, I knew I needed to look within myself. I realized I was constantly being a peace maker by proving, perfecting, performing and pleasing others.
This inauthentic lifestyle led me to feelings of not being good enough and certainly not worthy of love and belonging.
It was only when I was brave enough to look hard within myself could I find the inner strength to recover.
Only when I embraced self – acceptance, patience, reflection, being open to therapy, love, openness, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion along with putting on my big girl pants could I start to retrieve the sparkles that I had lost to mental illness.
Years later when I was designing my logo, I kept in mind what helped me to heal – and incorporated my tools into my logo’s design.
PEACE – Making peace with my past and accepting my own story of both triumph and tragedy, being authentic, standing and owning my sacred ground has been so hard but incredibly liberating. In order to make peace with my past I had to embrace forgiveness of myself and others.
STRENGTH –The semi colon represents strength for me but Project Semicolon uses it as a symbol of Depression. I became my own cheerleader by breaking up with Perfectionism. We had a love affair for as long as I can remember. Perfectionism was always there for me, it had my back! Our love affair came to a dramatic end when I was hospitalized a long time ago, when I started to have some insight into Perfectionism, when I started to reflect on how this armour was actually hurting me rather than nurturing me. I am happy to say that I am a recovering perfectionist and this will potentially be my life’s work/lesson but proud of my newer more revitalizing, nurturing relationship with self-compassion!
EMPOWERMENT – Learning to reconnect and trust your own intuition, you know that gut feeling when something doesn’t feel right but we do it anyway. We do this because often we feel compelled by others. Brene Brown’s book – The Gifts of Imperfection was life changing for me personally and professionally. Cultivating Intuition & Trusting the Universe, I am learning, growing, regressing, repairing and nurturing this concept.
HOPE – The anchor of hope. This symbol was crucial to me and absolute lifeline at times. The importance of hope in the face of darkness, having hope and knowing that you WILL get through this. We are born to do hard stuff!
BALANCE – it’s so tricky. Learning how to balance the impact of negative and positive thoughts and leaning into the grey area of uncertainty has been a skill and a daily practice. Reminding myself all the time of Karen Salmansohn’s “I’m a Rock Star at Overcoming Rocky Times” has helped me immensely. I faked it until I believed it.
RECOVERY – For some of us it has been a life sentence to have battled with mental illness, feelings of low self-esteem, not feeling loved or good enough, this is how we have always seen ourselves.
I now embrace all of these things – and thereby made sure to represent these life savers into my logo.
Some of us have never even entertained the idea of recovery from our self-hatred ways. But guess what – you can recover!
Absolutely. It just takes time and the daily practice of gratitude, self-compassion and kindness.
Being gentle and having fun plays a pivotal role in the recovery process.
Note: This is a guest essay by Syndi Grambau