Bangkok, Thailand

April 10, 2016

And sometimes, depression.

I planned to write you this week about the fascinating nature of Thai script (did you know that vowels are implied, and every letter you see is a consonant?), or one of the bigger pieces I've been working on around communication or empathy.

But then Aunt Dee stopped by.

And it was weird. Throughout the week, even though I had a long list of Things that Needed Done, I kept finding myself sitting on the couch staring at my iPad.

When I noticed this, I wondered out loud, "what's going on?" I chalked it up to the demands of switching cultures, and taking on too many things.

But then one afternoon, as I walked to a work meeting, I caught myself about to say I just wish I could die.

It stopped me in my tracks - not because I was shocked to hear myself say it - but because I'd heard it before. I knew that phrase.

Depression was in town. Motherfucker.

For me, that's generally what it's like. There isn't a trigger or an obvious cause. It just shows up unannounced, like a super-annoying aunt.

Worse, because it's an insidious, perspective-shifting condition, it can sneak in and start bending my world without me even knowing.

I literally wrote a book on this stuff, and it still sneaks by me sometimes. If you or someone you know deals with depression, I hereby let you/them off the hook. :)

I pulled out the manuscript for the book, and dug in.

It helped. But there's no magical cure. On the days when Aunt Dee's still in town, I still get less done and fall behind - and accepting and rolling with that truth is the best way to make it pass.

I've got a over a hundred unanswered emails from readers (some from almost a month ago!), work stuff, life stuff, and almost none of it got done this week.

That's what I've got for you this week.

I'm still a world-traveling, TED-talk giving writer, coaching some fantastic people doing amazing things. I'm also a man who deals with depression sometimes.

Maybe you have multiple faces of yourself too. There's the public, professional, got-it-together one.

The one that's with friends - the close ones.

Another for acquaintances and people you'd find any way to get out of a room with.

Maybe another you that's sometimes broken, one who sits on the couch watching too much netflix, and has thoughts they don't tell anyone.

Me too.

The truth is - we're all of them, inseparable, summed up to a whole.

For all the glossy photoshopped faces we're surrounded with in the world, I'm happy to be able to not be one of them, here with you.

Thanks for reading, and on weeks like these, for being cool with not being entertained, and just sitting side-by-side, as a friend.

I'm lucky and glad to have you with me.

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this twitter account, filled with nothing but baby goats. Seriously.

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