Transcript: Dealing With Depression as an Entrepreneur: Amy and Jasmine Star Open Up

September 27, 2018


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Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today is an extra special episode because we are talking about mental health.

Specifically, we are talking about depression. On October 10, it is World Mental Health Day. Since that’s coming up at the time of this recording I thought it was appropriate if we had a candid, real, raw conversation about being an entrepreneur while dealing with depression.

I know not all of my listeners deal with something like this. However, I do think at one time or another along your entrepreneurial journey it’s going to show up for you. For some of you it shows up every single day.

I have dealt with depression in my lifetime starting at a very young age and it moved its way into the years I was starting this business as well so I’m very aware of what depression looks like as you’re growing a business. I wanted to talk about it with all of you.

This is an awkward conversation. It’s not my most favorite topic to talk about but I think we need to have hard conversations and that’s why I’m here today talking about all of this.

There are three goals for this episode. Goal #1 is that I wanted to make sure that if you are struggling with depression or anxiety or anything around mental health issues or challenges you’ve dealt with I wanted you to know you’re not alone and that there are so many of us out there that are dealing with it right alongside you.

We may not be talking about it. We may not make it known to everybody, but we are out there. You, my friend, are not alone.

The second goal of this episode is to get the conversation started. Many of us may not be talking about it but I think we need to change that. I think we need to have those hard conversations and I’m hoping you’ll learn some tools in this episode to be more vocal about what you’re going through as well.

The third reason I wanted to talk about growing a business as an entrepreneur while dealing with depression is that I wanted to remind you that you can still be successful in spite of or in addition to your depression or your mental health challenges that you’re going through right now.

You can still thrive and I think I am an example of that. I also think my guest is an example of that. I didn’t want to do this episode alone. It felt a little bit too vulnerable. I also know I’ve actually overcome depression in many ways but I wanted to talk to somebody who is in the thick of it right now as well.

I thought I would have a few different perspectives. Quite honestly, I just wanted you to be a part of a conversation and to do that I needed to bring somebody in. I have invited my dear friend, Jasmine Star, to come on the show with me.

I don’t want to interview her about her experience with depression. I want to talk to her about it. I want to share my own experiences and I want you to hear her experiences as well.

I want you to walk away with some tools and resources to help you move forward as you deal with depression and as you grow your business. Those are the goals of this episode.

AMY: With that, like I said, I didn’t want to do this episode alone because I wanted it to be a conversation so I invited my good friend, Jasmine Star, to come over to my house. We’re sitting in my studio right now to have a conversation about depression. So, Jasmine, thanks for coming on the show.

JASMINE: Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be here.

AMY: I know you’re happy to be here, but I also know you have some feelings about this episode.

JASMINE: Lots of feelings. All the feelings, Porterfield, all of them.

AMY: We’re both a little bit nervous. We actually talked about it before. We should have just started recording right from the get go.

JASMINE: We should have.

AMY: We were talking about a lot of great things but here’s how this came about. A while ago Jasmine and I were having a conversation around depression and anxiety and just a lot of feelings that come up. We said we should take this offline conversation and put it online.

Not too long ago I called her and said, “Hey, remember that conversation we had? What do you think about putting it on a podcast?”

My first question to you, Jasmine, is when I called you and said let’s talk about depression on my podcast what did you think, what did you feel, and what went through your head?

JASMINE: You and I both know, and I’ve said this a thousand times before, whenever you ask me to do something it’s always “yes.” When Amy asks anything I’m like, “Yeah, of course. Duh!” Why are we asking? Let’s move forward.

AMY: That’s so cool.

JASMINE: When she was like, “Hey, I have a question,” my knee jerk reaction and answer was, “Yes, of course.” Then all of the sudden she finished the sentence and I was like, “Whoa! Whoa there. What are we talking about and how is this going to look?”

I started feeling a lot of resistance. Whenever I feel resistance the thing I always have to do is take a step back and ask myself why I am feeling this way, what are the stories I am telling myself, and then make a decision based on 1) If it will get me closer to my purpose, and 2) If it will help people.

Regardless of how I feel about it emotionally, if the answers are both affirmative in that then I know that I have my answer regardless of how it makes me feel. Also, just before that conversation I had just read a quote by Elie Wiesel:

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever humans endured suffering. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

When I read that it was like I automatically knew that my silence was going to impede progress and that my silence was going to encourage people to wear a mask or to not talk about really difficult things in their lives.

I felt that Amy and I talk about it openly so why can’t we invite other people who might be interested in the conversation to have a healthy, positive, open, nonstigmatized conversation about what it means to run a business and to do it with other people even when the days are hard.

AMY: So good. So true. That is exactly why I wanted Jasmine on the show. I knew she would be really open and honest about this. One thing she said while we were talking about it before I started recording, “I have to be 100% open and 100% honest about this topic.”

Of course I would expect nothing less of Jasmine but I love that she made the declaration. That’s what today is about, an open, honest conversation.

I wanted to kind of start and share with all of you that I have definitely, definitely struggled with depression throughout most of my college years and then into starting this online business. A lot of it came up in my corporate years and then it really moved its way into the years that I started the business.

For me, what depression has looked like is that there have been mornings that I have not wanted to get out of bed. I felt almost like I couldn’t get out of bed, that the sadness and black cloud (that’s how I’ve always explained it) has just been lingering over me.

When I would tell my mom, I would confide in her a lot about this and would say, “I feel like there is a black cloud over me but the problem I really struggle with is that there is no reason why it should be there.”

I would look at my family and my home and my son, Cade, and everything about our lives and think that everything is so good. I have a beautiful husband, a beautiful life, and I am sad all the time.

I felt a lot of shame around it, a lot of embarrassment around it, and it really came up a lot in my first few years of starting this business. That’s where I felt it most.

It didn’t start there. Like I said, it started mostly in college. I got on meds because of it. My doctor prescribed medication for my depression and that really helped a lot. But then I thought I shouldn’t take medication so I got off of it. There was a stigma with it and I know Jasmine’s going to talk about her story with that and I love what she talks about in terms of looking at medication and depression.

I got off and on medication for many, many years up until a few years ago and I told Jasmine that now I don’t struggle with it nearly as much. Of course, everybody has depression here and there depending on what’s happening in their life. But I don’t have those moments anymore where I can’t get out of bed or those moments where everything feels like despair and sadness.

I’ve worked on it throughout the years. But I also wanted to talk to somebody that still has to deal with this more often than I do. I wanted you to hear from a few different people so, Jasmine, I want you to talk about your experience with depression.

JASMINE: I should probably start by really reaffirming, affirming, explaining, and clarifying that everybody struggles with depression. However, there is situational depression. Everybody has bad days or a series of bad things that happen.

There’s clinical depression. Clinical depression has to do more with the chemistry makeup of one’s brain. I have to clarify I am not a trained medical professional and I will not be giving any medical advice.

All I can do is speak my truth. If there is a kernel that resonates with you or your journey that the reason I want to stand up is that other people say, “I hear her. I identify with that and it’s giving me hope in spite of not having all of the answers.”

I guess my story and journey with depression, I feel like I had a really great childhood and really wonderful, amazing, and supportive parents who did their absolute best. For a myriad of unexplainable reasons, or explainable reasons, I kind of struggled with my first bout of depression when I was around 25 years old.

I was in law school and I think I kept on pushing it aside. My mom had brain cancer. I was in law school. There was a lot of pressure on myself. It was okay to feel this way. I kept on pushing it off and pushing it off and pushing it off.

I think that is a pattern and a story in my life. I just continue to push through things instead of giving myself the permission to take a step back and really analyze what’s going on. But I’m getting to the end. I’m getting to progress.

Put a little pin in that notion of taking a step back and asking what I am feeling and why am I feeling this way instead of just saying that I am going to continue pushing forward. Put a pin there.

I was 25 years old and I realized I was so sad. I was not sleeping. I was wildly stressed out. I was working out like a mad woman because when my life is spinning out of control I control the things I can control. I started excessively controlling what I ate, how much I exercised, how much I studied, and I think it manifested itself in a real deterioration of my health.

My hair was falling out. I wasn’t sleeping. I didn’t feel like I was in a really good head space. I was at UCLA Law School and part of being a student is getting access to the UCLA Medical Center, which is pretty incredible.

I made an appointment. I walked into the doctor’s office and I didn’t walk in saying I had depression. I don’t think I could even articulate those words. I just kept saying I was really sad, I mean really, really, really sad.

When I listed all of the reasons why I was sad, which is the reasons I just listed, the doctor said, “Okay, this is indicative of something a little bit more. My first suggestion would be medication.”

He prescribed medication. I got it filled and I have a very open relationship with my family. I talked to my dad and I kind of explained what was going on. I think in retrospect, which is what he would probably say and admit now, we both didn’t handle the conversation the way that we should have.

Only because maybe, maybe, I don’t want to put any words in his mouth but maybe the conversation around depression was a little stigmatized, perhaps. It’s not something we really spoke about.

Specifically, in Latino culture, in first generation American culture, we were really poor. It was a whole new navigation of what it meant. My father and mother both expressed their desires that their daughter wouldn’t be on medication and for me to try to do my best coping and understanding that there were certain things that everybody goes through funks and stuff like that.

We ended the conversation there and probably a few months into the medication I realized it wasn’t having an effect. I was still really, really sad. I felt that gray cloud that Amy described is so apropos. That’s the perfect description.

In addition to feeling that way I felt cloudy. I felt so much more sleepy. I didn’t feel like I was who I was. I felt like I was a different person. As a result of that I stopped taking the medication but that led to a cycle of beating myself up.

Who doesn’t medication work for? Who are you? Are you that much of a mess that this medication is not going to work for you?

Again, it just led to another cycle of beating myself up. When I look back at that situation I realize in retrospect, years after, it’s been over a decade since I had that first reckoning with what it meant and means, what I did in that moment was a pattern that I had created for myself starting distinctly when I was 13 years old.

That pattern was to beat myself up and what I didn’t know then, which is what I know now, is the way that we speak to ourselves has the possibility to amplify or diminish emotionally how we feel about something.

I think the biggest takeaway, years later, giving myself the permission to talk openly about it with my friends and family, when we have the ability to come out and ask for help, when we have the ability to admit that we don’t have the answers, and when we have the ability to say, “I feel very alone,” it becomes a very different conversation.

I think that’s why I really knew that I had to step up and talk openly about it, although the resistance did come. I told Amy that I felt all of these emotions. On the way here I had a conversation with my husband and my business partner, J.D.

He noticed when I left the house I just wasn’t myself. I woke up this morning. I love patterns now. Patterns have become a game changer for me. I do the same thing every morning. I pray, I meditate, I take a hot bath. Basically, I’m 87 years old.

AMY: She takes a lot of hot baths, sometimes at four in the morning.

JASMINE: I do. I send Amy text messages early in the morning, “I’m in the bath. I’ve got this idea.”

Anyway, I did all of the things to prepare myself for what I felt could be a lot of resistance around this conversation. On the freeway driving up here he said, “Let’s take a step back.”

That’s been one of the first things. Before we actually get into how I am working through this the thing I want to lead with is that I did not want to give anybody the opportunity to label me as the depressed entrepreneur.

I felt if I came out and admitted that it would become a title. I have to remember that I write my own story. People can call me anything. They can call me X, they can call me Y, they can call me Depressed, they can call me Happy. I get to define that story and I want to encourage other people to say that there could be labels but there is no stigma around it.

How we identify and how we want our labels to be, we are the ones to determine what the label actually is and how we manifest it out.

AMY: That’s so good. It’s so funny that when we are thinking about talking about a topic that is sensitive to us we come up with all of these stories. My team asked why we didn’t talk about mental health I knew that I don’t experience depression like I used to so I wondered who I was to talk about it, my audience will think I don’t know enough about it or have a strong enough story.

Then I realized, especially after talking to Jasmine, everyone has their own story and it shows up in so many different ways. Here’s the thing that also comes with that, when I did have depression on a daily basis there was so much shame and embarrassment around it.

I talked to Jasmine about that and I said, “One of the reasons this episode makes me nervous is because I remember all of that shame. I don’t want to bring it all up again, the shame I felt of feeling depressed.”

It’s really hard to talk to people about it if they’ve never experienced the depression before. So a lot of times many people do not talk about it or they sweep it under the rug or they keep it a secret.

Remember when I talked about the goals of this episode, Jasmine and I wanted it to become part of a conversation for you and whoever you need to have that conversation with. We want you to start talking about it if it’s something you struggle with because Jasmine would you agree that once you start talking about it, it starts to slowly take that stigma off of it?

JASMINE: Absolutely, 1000%. One thing I don’t think I mentioned. I am actually super excited that you are having a conversation because you are saying, “Who am I,” and I think to myself, “Who are you not?” How amazing that you can look back and say, “I no longer struggle with that.”

I think that, in and of itself, is so hopeful. I think it’s really great to offer different perspectives of people who have gone through it successfully, people who are working their way through it, and actually opening the doors to have a conversation.

AMY: That’s so very true. One thing I wanted to talk about a lot and really get into is how we got here. Both of us have wildly successful businesses. You would agree, right? Come on.

JASMINE: Well, it’s not Porterfield size but it’s climbing on up there.

AMY: We definitely both have successful businesses.

JASMINE: Yes, thank you, God.

AMY: And we both have amazing marriages. That’s one thing we really bond over. We have amazing husbands who support us. We’re very lucky.

JASMINE: We married out of our league.

AMY: We married out of our league. Let’s be serious.

JASMINE: We did.

AMY: We have these great businesses. We have these great lives. And, we are at different places and this is where I want to show each of our own sides. I have been able to move past the depression.

Again, when I talked to Jasmine about this she pointed out…I said, it’s not totally gone. It comes up when I’m struggling with stuff. She said that’s what’s called situational. But I don’t have clinical. That would be the other one, right?

I don’t have clinical depression but my point is that I’ve been able to move past it and I never really took the time to realize I had until I really started to dive into this topic for this episode.

I asked Jasmine if she feels that it looks different now than it did “back then” and what did you say?

JASMINE: I said it does. It absolutely does.

AMY: In what way?

JASMINE: It looks different in that when I became aware that I needed help and when I became aware that there were people who wanted me to become who I was destined to be and the minute I gave myself permission to ask for help and have very open conversations I kind of felt like the metamorphosis happened about 2 ó to 3 years ago.

That, to me, is when I started making such cognitive decisions about all of those things I had just mentioned and who I am today. I’m a nerd. I already said, I’m 87 years old.

I get out my journal, and not long, just a few sentences. It’s a 365-day journal and I can go back to days and just see my emotional maturity, my progress, where I needed help, and the pitfalls. I notice cycles in my emotions and why I was feeling a certain way.

That right there has been a game changer.

AMY: I’m so glad you brought all of that up because I wanted to talk about how we got here and give specifics of our lives and what we’ve done. I’ll go first in the sense that #1, and I know some of this is going to overlap Jasmine but I still want her to tell her story, I definitely went to therapy.

I’ve done a lot of different types of therapy. Although the depression hasn’t been around for a few years now I’m still very aware of my anxiety and when things come up for me.

Just not too long ago, maybe a year ago, I went to EMDR therapy. This was amazing. You can look it up to learn more about it. I’ll link to some details about this therapy but it was therapy to deal with some childhood issues that just kept coming up for me when things got hard. These issues from childhood would come up and rear their ugly head.

I would think, why are you here? I thought I got past all of this but I hadn’t. EMDR therapy literally helped me immensely move past some childhood issues and trauma that I had dealt with.

I recently did that but back in the day I went through a lot of therapy. I’ve had numerous therapists that have helped me deal with the depression and I think, to me, that was the #1 thing that helped more than anything else.

I’m going to give you guys some resources at the end where you can find a really good therapist even if you’re on a tight budget. We’re going to share that at the end.

The other thing I did is make sure I was always fueling my brain with resources and resourceful, valuable information that would help me see things in a different light. Of course, I worked for Tony Robbins. Yes, I had depression while I was there.

It doesn’t mean just because you learn from Tony Robbins that it’s not going to be there. But I will say that I was able to use much of what I learned from Tony to start moving past the depression.

A lot of what Tony teaches helped me move through the depression and I also listened to podcasts. I read books. I am always into self help and making my mind stronger in terms of what I think and how I feel.

Just recently I have also been working with a weight loss coach. I’ve talked about this on my InstaStories. Working with my weight loss coach, we don’t even talk about food. We don’t get into what the diet looks like. We talk about how my thoughts turn into feelings and how my feelings turn into actions.

With that, if I change my thoughts I change my feelings and I change my actions. Literally, I meet with a coach once a week where we are drilling on what kind of thoughts I am having and what I am making them mean.

I work on myself every single day even after I feel the depression has kind of taken a back seat in my life. I am constantly fueling my mind, going to therapy, and (here’s my last one) the relationships in my life have changed everything.

Marrying Hobie, I will say, definitely made a huge impact on the depression. Jasmine’s smiling right now.

JASMINE: I am. Hobie’s great.

AMY: He’s great and he was just somebody in my life that was able to not judge the depression, not put a label on it, not make it mean something that it didn’t mean. He just sat with it with me. He listened when he needed to and then he offered advice when I wanted it.

To have that kind of support system means everything when you are feeling depressed and you can’t get out of bed in the morning.

I know that some of you are surrounded by people that are not helping you with the depression. They don’t know what to do or what to say but your support system means everything so I’ve gotten people out of my life because of it and I’ve invited new people into my life.

I know this is cheesy, Jasmine, but you are one of those people in my life that if I called you and said, “That black cloud is back and here’s why,” you would sit there for hours with me and talk to me about that.

JASMINE: I would sit there for hours. And then I would drive down here. We would sit here.

AMY: It’s so true.

JASMINE: We are going to do a little rain dance to make that cloud go away.

AMY: I like it. I like that a lot. You need the friends who will do the rain dance with you to make the clouds go away. How perfect is that? It is true.

Those are some of the tools that I used and I wanted to share them with you because I told Jasmine I wanted to talk about how we got to a better place. We’re not perfect. It’s not totally gone but we are both in better places than we were with the depression so I wanted to talk about how we got there.

JASMINE: I actually love that you brought that up. I feel it is just encouragement for what I am currently working through. All of those four main points you articulated are things that I am still doing.

In light of full disclosure I have come a very long way. I look forward to the day that I can be just like Amy and say, “It has been a thing I have worked through and it is a thing of my past.”

I am not quite there yet. I do struggle with it. I have come a long, long, long way. I just wanted to make sure I am very open and super respectful. I have to understand that my parents are immigrants.

America is different, how we navigate conversations is different. I don’t think they ever stigmatized the idea of speaking to a therapist but they made it very upper class. For people who aren’t from California, California is very segmented.

It’s segmented by county. My parents are L.A. through and through, “Go Dodgers!” That’s my dad.

AMY: Do that one more time.

JASMINE: “Go Dodgers!” When I told my dad that I was going to start seeing a therapist he holds up his pinkie finger, “Oy. So Orange County, huh? You’re so Orange County.”

It was a joke. Or, as my dad would say, “A yoke.” Okay, so it was a joke, but I think it was a difficult conversation to have. What does it mean?

For my whole childhood we had groceries donated on the porch and we rode the bus to church. This idea of paying somebody to hear you talk was literally as foreign as a flying pig.

What I realized, and I had to make a hard decision, I cannot expect anybody in my life to accept the responsibility to walk me through a very difficult path. So, if you feel that you don’t have that person that’s okay. Your next objective would be to take the responsibility to find people in your life.

I will say that my husband is my best friend and my foundation. He is so good and so kind and he listens. However, I also don’t think my husband should be a therapist.

AMY: That’s a great point.

JASMINE: If you have the luxury I think it’s phenomenal but I also do think I really wanted to have a clear distinction and I’m just Type A and very pig headed. I’m like, “Do you have a degree? No, you don’t.”

AMY: Poor J.D.

JASMINE: That was the first step. So, hearing that you found a great therapist makes a big difference. There was a really, really, really dark time in my life around 2015 where I knew that I had nowhere to go. I was rock bottom. I had nobody to talk to. I was just strung out.

My soul felt broken. The minute I found a therapist I initially didn’t think he was all that great. This is what I tell my friends, people who are looking for therapists, be fair to yourself and be fair to them and give them at least three opportunities.

AMY: I love that because I feel that every therapist I’ve ever been to I did not love them right off the bat.

JASMINE: Of course, you are literally going on a blind date.

AMY: Right.

JASMINE: You know therapist’s websites are terrible. They basically need to go through one of our trainings. It’s like, guys, you need to brand yourself a little better.

AMY: I have a student that helps therapists with websites because they are so bad.

JASMINE: God bless him. They are terrible. They literally say nothing. You kind of go in and it’s literally a blind date. I didn’t really vibe with him all that much the first time but I said I would use my rule of three.

The second time he came around and the third time was when he just started itemizing and asking questions after the notes he had taken. He said he was seeing a pattern in the stories I was telling and the way I was talking.

I was like, huh. Let’s go for meeting #4. Then I stayed with him for about three years. Throughout that time when I was in a really, really bad place I felt that as a business expense I needed to get help. I couldn’t keep running at that pace.

I met with him once a week for about six months and then from there started meeting every other week, every three weeks, once a month. That was the first step.

Then I just started taking the time in my life and my business to start doing research. I needed to understand. I went through an analogy. When you break a bone you get an x-ray and they find out what’s wrong with your bone.

If you have a tumor you have an MRI or a scan and they understand it. But, if you go to your doctor and you say, “I’m sad. Something’s wrong in my head,” what is done with that?

I started doing research and came across a doctor in San Diego, Dr. Amen. He wrote a book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

AMY: I love him.

JASMINE: You know him?

AMY: I thought it was Amen.

JASMINE: Well here’s the thing, if you’re religious it’s Amen because to me he’s like, “Amen, yes!” Then other people who are agnostic it’s “Ahmen”. {laughter} Just kidding! I actually don’t know the exact pronunciation.

AMY: I love him though.

JASMINE: Right? He is just kind of so brilliant. His book was scientific proof after years and years and years of studying the brain. The thoughts we have impact our brain. They literally have a physical manifestation.

If you think negative thoughts your brain reacts to the negative thoughts and gives out physical manifestations of your thoughts. It is no longer speculative. It is just the truth.

He said that every morning he starts the day and says, “Today’s going to be a great day.” Our brains are hardwired to listen. Let me create a distinction. The mind and the brain are two different things.

AMY: Wait. You lost me. What do you mean?

JASMINE: The mind is in control and the brain is an organ. When you understand your mind you can control your organ. So, when your mind says, “I’m going to have a great day,” your brain then says, “Yes sir! Right away Captain. We’re going to make that happen.”

Our brain is hardwired to listen. So, if we have control of our mind, and it’s not like a feel-good, everything’s-going-to-be-happy-and-hunky-dory, this is literally the very first step you can do.

I also heard that when Einstein woke up he would say, “Thank you,” 100 times before he got out of bed.

AMY: Stop. That is so good. That actually makes me emotional for some reason.

JASMINE: Every morning I put my hand on my heart and say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

AMY: Okay, that is good.

JASMINE: I know. It’s because when you wake up and think you just see the gratitude. Gosh dang it, there are some really hard days but when you say, “I have a roof over my head,” and “I have something in my refrigerator, I have gas in my car,” we are literally the 1%.

When we say those three things we are the 1% of the world. I think that even on the dark days you realize we are so, so, so lucky to be where we are and if we could find a glimmer of that silver lining we are already taking a step forward.

Real quick, am I just making this happy hour with Jasmine?

AMY: No this is so good. What’s wrong with that?

JASMINE: It’s just you and I and some La Croix. We’re getting drunk on sparkling water ya’ll.

AMY: I forgot to tell you she’s also in a bathing suit.

JASMINE: Oh my God, are we going there? Are we going there?

AMY: Are you not?

JASMINE: Do not comment me. I am Puerto Rican. I will throw you under a big yellow bus in 2.5 seconds flat. I am. I am actually in a bathing suit.

AMY: She will.

JASMINE: Okay. It’s California. Get over it.

AMY: She walks up to my house and said, “Listen, I’m in a bathing suit right now.”

JASMINE: Don’t judge me.

AMY: They’re probably picturing you standing in my house in a bikini. That’s actually not it.

JASMINE: I haven’t been in a bikini since I was three years old, okay. So we need to get that right now.

AMY: Really?

JASMINE: Oh girl. I hail from the school of one pieces.

AMY: So do I.

JASMINE: Don’t get it twisted.

AMY: So she comes in jeans with a bathing suit and a little cover up. But she’s going to a pool party. Of course she is. She’s fancy like that.

JASMINE: Fancy, really? It’s actually a beach party for a 12 year old at Bolsa Chica. Fancy is not that. I’m like, girl get it right. Come at me and I’ll come at you.

AMY: I forgot it was a 12 year old. Yes, she came to my house in a bathing suit which I am cracking up. But this is happy hour which is so appropriate when we’re talking about depression. So yes I do love this. But I love all of these tools.

I wanted this to be a conversation about what we did. I love to follow people that are just a little bit or a lot ahead of me. They have kind of figured something out.

There is a lot of stuff we have not figured out but with this I feel like we’ve worked really hard on making ourselves better and healing ourselves around the depression so I thought we have to talk about what we have done.

JASMINE: Absolutely.

AMY: You talked about the therapy but there’s other stuff. When we were chatting in my office you talked about the mastermind we’re in and what that’s done for you.

JASMINE: Oh, absolutely! I think people listening would say, “I don’t have a supportive family”, or “I don’t have a supportive spouse,” or, “I don’t have supportive children.” That could be true.

Let’s back up one tiny second. Dr. Amen (since we’re being religious) has a series of questions. I have applied them and I think it has had the most profound change in my perspective. This, in addition to a few other things.

If anybody’s listening and say they are tired of hearing these girls talk. You want something practical. Let’s get into the practicality before we actually talk about the decisions we made as a result of the practicality.

AMY: Great.

JASMINE: When you are having a negative or overwhelming thought, first things first, write it down. There’s something about writing. The act of stopping and writing it down is as if it’s an exorcism. It comes out of you and then you see it. It forces you to look at it.

Dr. Amen is very specific about that. You write it down. Let’s use you as an example. If you were to write something down and you were to get up out of bed what would be one thing you are struggling with…Since we’re being 100?

AMY: We’re being 100. So I would say that there’s a lot. I’m trying to think of one if I want to do personal or business. If I did business I would say I can’t get it all done fast enough and if I don’t I’m going to be irrelevant.

JASMINE: That’s what you write on your paper. The second question is, “Is this true?”

AMY: I love that question. Instantly I know it is not true.

JASMINE: There would be people listening who think that it could be true.

AMY: There are some times I have deep dark thoughts that feel very true such as my body will not release this weight. If we got personal and talked about my weight loss there are days I get on the scale and it hasn’t moved for days and days or a week and I think that my body wants to be fat. I cannot lose weight. That feels true some days for me.

JASMINE: If we were looking at both of those situations: 1) If I don’t move fast enough I’m going to be irrelevant, and 2) I am destined to remain this weight, and we ask ourselves if this is true.

Even if you responded, “Maybe,” then the third question you have to ask yourself is if you are 100% certain of your response.

AMY: Oh my gosh. So right away, no.

JASMINE: Right away. It’s no because we are not fortunetellers. We don’t know, with certainty, if we are destined to be irrelevant or destined to be overweight. We don’t know that.

Then, once we answer that then how does it make me feel? Let’s just focus on business right now. How does being irrelevant feel? How does being irrelevant feel to you?

AMY: It makes me feel small. It makes me feel scared. It makes me feel like I’m not enough, I’m less than, or I’m not good enough.

JASMINE: This is all written. Once you see that, do you think those feelings will keep you from the purpose you have been sent here for in the world?

AMY: Yes, and yes.

JASMINE: Last question. What would feeling the opposite, what if you were to look at that and say, “I’m going to be irrelevant. I’m not moving fast enough,” you feel all of these negative emotions. What if you were to say, “I’m moving at the right pace. I will always be relevant for a group of people”?

AMY: It would make me feel grounded and secure and competent and excited to work on the projects I’m working on. These questions are good. We will certainly be listing them in the show notes.

JASMINE: Now this is something I learned from our mastermind organizer, mentor, unicorn, James. We are not our thoughts. He reminds me of that all the time. The things we think are not us. They are just our thoughts.

If we were to look at a piece of paper based on this walkthrough from Dr. Amen we can choose to feel irrelevant and lost and like things are passing or we could choose to feel grounded and hopeful and secure.

The choice is ours. It takes just as much energy to feel fearful as it does to say, “I choose faith.”

AMY: This is exactly what I work on every single week with my weight loss coach. I think this is what has moved me. I love that we are both on the same page. I didn’t even know you were diving into questions like that but I just realized this is exactly why I’ve been feeling so good lately. I examine that every day.

JASMINE: Every day. And, what happens if people don’t have time, they are in the carpool line, at the grocery store, have two jobs, have a side hustle, when am I going to just walk around with a diary. Writing my issues down seems like a luxury.

Listen boo-boo, if you do not take care of yourself there is a line of people who need you. If you are in that carpool line you need to pull on over and say, “Baby, you’re going to wait 30 seconds because mom’s got to do this real quick.”

If you’re at the grocery line bring out your phone and write it all down. Then ask yourself, in this moment I choose to feel what? That has been the most profound difference in how I look at everything.

Do I think I have the capacity to move through depression as a result of this process? No. Do I believe with all of my heart that I have the capacity to change and expedite the process as a result of it? Hell yes.

AMY: Hell yes is right. I want to point out, you just reminded me of this, when we were talking about it earlier you brought up Brene Brown’s gold-plated grit.

JASMINE: Gold-plated grit baby girl.

AMY: Gold-plated grit. First of all, with the gold-plated grit it first came up for me when I called you to tell you I wanted to do an episode about my weight but I was too scared to do so.

JASMINE: I was a little bit mean too.

AMY: You were. You were like, “You’re doing it and you’re telling a story about how you ate a lot of cupcakes that were your son’s for his birthday.”


AMY: That was probably the hardest part of that episode.

JASMINE: I push you in love.

AMY: You do push me in love. With that though I told Jasmine I didn’t want to do this episode about my weight, and for those of you who haven’t heard it, it was a while ago and I can link to it in the show notes (Episode #179), but I didn’t want to do it because at the time I hadn’t started losing weight. I wasn’t on a weight-loss journey. I didn’t have any tools to help me at the time.

I had nothing to give in that moment except the truth that I don’t like doing video because I am overweight and that is embarrassing to me. That’s all I had to give in that episode. You said, “That’s enough,” and you brought up this gold-plated grit.

First of all, will you tell people what that means because I don’t do a good job explaining it. Second, it came up when I asked you to talk about some of this.

JASMINE: Brene Brown is basically our best friend. She doesn’t know it yet.

AMY: We love her.

JASMINE: Here’s the thing, I want to invite her to your house, not mine. Your house is way more show ready. I would be like, Brene, welcome to my house, come into my closet.

AMY: I love her and I love her voice.

JASMINE: She has an amazing voice and she is from Texas. She is like, “Ya’ll,” and she can just say it so sultry.

AMY: She says a lot of bad words and I love that too.

JASMINE: Coming from her they are almost sacrosanct. You are like, oh how sweet, bless her heart. She talks about gold-plated grit. Gold-plated grit is our ability to talk about things after we’ve already accomplished them.

She talks about how easy it is to diminish how hard a situation was when we can just say, “Guys, I went on this journey, I lost 100 pounds, and this is how I did it.”

What we do by keeping our story to ourselves is inadvertently protecting ourselves, protecting our ego. We do not want to be vulnerable because the minute you say, “I am on a weight-loss journey,” all of the sudden you give people the permission to watch you when you are out eating dinner, when you decide to have a glass of wine.

Gold-plated grit is talking about something in retrospect. The thing I encouraged Amy to do, which would come back to haunt me all the way to today, was to show up. You don’t have to have the solution you just have to first admit it.

When you invited me to come do this show I was just like, “Oh no, I’m not past it. I cannot talk about it,” then I thought, “Oh good God, woman!” The advice you give is the advice you need to listen to so this is me talking through it and now it’s on tape and I hope if not next year, even if it takes me ten years, that I can look at this and say this was the first time I was very open and public about what the journey looks like from the inside.

AMY: I truly hope so and I love that you shared it even though you might still be going through it in different ways. I’m so very glad, Jasmine, that you have come on the show and talked to all of us about it because this is exactly what I wanted.

I wanted a conversation around it and I think that’s exactly what we got. I also want to wrap things up with some resources and tools to help anybody listening right now to find the support they need.

Jasmine, you also have something really cool that you actually wrote about on Instagram.

JASMINE: I did. I was kind of debating whether or not I would bring it up but you can always edit it out if it doesn’t work.

AMY: We’re not editing it out!

JASMINE: I think I want to make sure and stand as a testament that when you asked for help you actually get it. When you talk to people they actually arrive in ways that you don’t expect.

This was a post I wrote on June 9. It was shortly after the passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. I just knew I was in a funk and I knew that if I was feeling this way there were probably other people that were feeling this way.

Unbeknownst to me when I opened myself up people not only showed up to support and help, they started reaching out and connecting with others. It also opened the opportunity for Amy to invite me onto this show.

So, whenever you feel like you are not enough you are. Whenever you feel like you need help you can always ask for it. June 9:

“He called me when he heard of Kate Spade’s passing. My dad said he was just checking in but we both understood it was more. When the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing broke J.D. spoke soothingly into the phone as he drove home and cooed until I stopped crying. At two different times the most powerful men in my life reached out to make sure that I was okay, that I wasn’t burying myself into a dark corner. Depression is something I’ve battled for years. I used to be ashamed, embarrassed to admit this. Perhaps there’s a part of me that still is. But the same way my loved ones reached out, I want to make sure I do the same. If you’re reading this, you’re not alone. I am standing with you, wobbly knees and all. The clouds slowly lift when I meet with my therapist, when I pray, when I ask for help. I encourage you to join me. Today J.D. and I spent the afternoon in L.A., going to museums, shopping from street vendors, and sweating our way through tikka masala. Self care, self love, and self acceptance are things I’m working on…and I invite you on this journey with me. If you’re reading this, reach out to those who may be hurting. If you’re hurting, I’m here for you. Perhaps we can pull together and ensure we take care of each other. You in? Much love.”

AMY: You’re going to kill me right now. That’s beautiful and it is exactly who you are. You make people feel like they are not alone in this because you joined them in the journey. Thank you for sharing that. You’re going to mess up the end of my podcast so I’ve got to get it together.

With that, I’m so glad Jasmine read that because that’s exactly kind of what this episode is all about. We want to remind you there are tools and resources out there and you, my sweet, sweet friend, are not alone.

With that we’ve talked about starting the conversation with somebody and not having that shame and embarrassment stop you from talking about it because that is hugely therapeutic.

Also, with that, getting a support system. If you can have people around you that will build you up and just listen and cry with you and give you what you need in those moments that is incredibly important.

I love that Jasmine said, “Maybe you don’t have that,” and if you don’t have that then I want to encourage you to look for a therapist. Get the counseling you need. I think that was probably the biggest thing that ran through both of our stories, the support and therapy.

Also, medication. We’re not advocating it. We’re not judging it. We’re not saying it’s right or wrong and we’re definitely not giving advice around it. But it is something you might want to explore. It helped me. It didn’t help Jasmine as much so this is just an individual thing and I think you should explore that as well.

With that, I also wanted to let you know that we did a little research and found this eCounseling website It’s a convenient, private, affordable online counseling site. They have over 2,000 therapists. You do not need insurance or anything to get started.

It’s at and I will put it in the show notes. To take a little bit more of a serious note, if you do feel you are in a crisis and you need help immediately remember that you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Better yet, you can even text them. Text TALK to 741741 and you, my friend, are not alone. Jasmine, I love that we did this together so that we didn’t have to do it alone.


AMY: Thank you so very much. I love you dearly and thank you so much for coming on the show.

JASMINE: Thank you babe.

AMY: Alright guys, thanks for being here. I know this was a show that was a little bit different than I typically do but it’s a topic we need to talk about. I’ll be thinking about all of you. I’d love for you to share your thoughts and feelings. We’ll post about it on Instagram and I’ll be looking for you in the comments so don’t be shy.

Alright guys, have a wonderful day. I’ll talk to you same time, same place next week. Bye for now.

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