My mother put a lot of time and energy into how she looked and how others perceived her. She never stepped outside her door, even to pickup the newspaper, without her makeup on, every hair in place and dressed in something attractive. But at some point mother was all dressed up with no place to go. Mentally and emotionally she stopped living her life… decades before she died.
Is this just what happens to many of us as we get older, or is something else at work?
When depression, grief or fears about a medical problem swoops down and swallows us whole—mind, body and soul—it’s sometimes impossible to put one foot in front of the other. For much of the last eight years, depression made me feel like I was falling from a thousand-story building, but Guided Imagery and the sound of Belleruth Naparstek’s voice slowed my fall. It’s allowed me to gather myself together, again, and find my way.
Last week I spoke with Belleruth Naparstek, a pioneer of Guided Imagery, and she’s everything… and more… I’d hoped.
Depression by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator
Most of us have experienced depression from time to time, but did you know the worst thing we can do about it is to do nothing? If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve had situational depression that resolved itself when the circumstances that caused it were resolved. Or like me, if you’ve also had a longer, more severe depression that blankets you in a dark shroud, you may decide that like your less severe depression this, too, shall pass. But what if it doesn’t? I don’t know if this is a medical term, but sometimes I’ve thought of myself as functionally depressed.
In other words I show up for life and get my “to do” lists accomplished, but it can be a struggle.
When we’re in the midst of a storm it’s often difficult to see past our worries and fears and find solid ground. For me solid ground is not when the sun comes out and the birds start chirping. It’s when I have clear vision and can think logically and make good decisions. That doesn’t mean I don’t cry and give in to my feelings, sometimes, but if I do, I don’t let myself stay there for long. At some point there will be plenty of time to breathe a sigh of relief, or grieve, but for now….
I need to be the one person I know I can always count on.
Instead of taking advantage of the holiday sales, I spent my “Christmas money” on a trip to the cardiologist for a nuclear stress test. As the treadmill speeded up and the incline became steeper, the goal was to see how long it took my heart to reach 129 beats a minutes. It took 9.8 minutes, which statistically speaking, means I have the stats of a 28-year-old female. That’s incredible because statistically women my age—68—reach a heart rate of 129 beats a minute in only 3.2 minutes.
While that’s great news, I still don’t know what caused me to almost pass out in Neiman Marcus.
There aren’t many things cuter than a soft, snuggly puppy who nuzzles your neck and whispers, “Adopt me! Adopt me!” Adopting one puppy is a good thing, but two? When I asked my girlfriends why they didn’t stop me, they said, “You’ve always had dogs, so we figured you knew what you were getting into.” Yes, but never puppies! When I was younger and the same friends started having babies, I didn’t understand the degree to which their lives had changed, overnight, but now… That’s me!
I also have postpartum depression, and I didn’t even give birth!
Kim Alexis early modeling photo.
“Here,” the photographer said. He slid my portfolio back across the table.
“Really,” I thought? He didn’t even look up. I broke my neck getting to this “go see,” learning new streets–in a city I didn’t know–taking hot subways to get here on time and this photographer doesn’t even look at me?
That’s what breaking into modeling was like when I first started that hot summer in New York City, 32 years ago.