In these photos, you see two gorgeous women, educated, accomplished, full of life however throughout different times in their lives, both have battled with anxiety and depression.
Society portrays that expressing your “struggles” and interpersonal battles are signs of weakness. “Be Strong”, they say—“tough it out”— they’ll whisper. However, in reality, expressing your demons and working through them does make you strong. This notion of “living your best life” no matter what has slightly taken things a little too far. I am appalled at how many friends, family members, and close acquaintances SILENTLY struggle daily with sheer unhappiness.
Because of the fear of judgment from others, we are subconsciously afraid to express the side of our personality that is not so “carefree.” Especially as women, we feel like we have to explain ourselves when we are not on our A-game and we feign invincibility. One of my favorite actors Will Smith said it best when he states“Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are just better at hiding it than others.”
In the midst of our life struggles, we have to make it our business to own and FIGHT for our happiness. We cannot leave it to others to MAKE us happy. We have to find our passion, direct our purpose, heal from our wounds, forgive ourselves (and others) when they hurt us, and OWN the moments that make us feel HAPPY!
It's ok for you to keep living through life even if things are not the epitome of perfection. Through the death of a family member, the loss of a job, a divorce, etc., we have to make time to find the silver lining and happiness. A grateful heart will force you to FIND peace in chaos. We sometimes let the world hang on our shoulders without truly appreciating the small moments to unwind and relax with our friends and family.
As I tried to juggle motherhood, being a good wife, developing as an entrepreneur and rediscovering myself post baby, my social life died. No really, it completely crumbled to tiny, minute and unsalvageable pieces. I can attribute this to many reasons, however, I think the primary culprit was me “pretending” to “BE STRONG” around my friends or family because of the fear of being perceived weak and ungrateful.
Depression, anxiety and stress are not something we wear proudly on our chest like a badge of honor. Especially for those who have been raised in households where you suppress your more vulnerable emotions and move forward. Girl time brings a necessary moment where we dig deep and let go of the world and enjoy the presence of our amazing friends. It may take some time for you to “get your life” but, in the meantime, do not forget to do things that you wholeheartedly love and enjoy. Embrace your relationships. Embrace the joy that they bring you in the midst of chaos.
Meet Amber Staples
Meet Amber Staples, a beautiful wife, accomplished marketing brand builder, budding philanthropist, and socialite. Amber has dedicated her time, talent and resources to be an inspiration to those she encounters personally and professionally. She, like many other successful and accomplished women have at some point in her life, has battled anxiety and depression. During my intimate sit down with Amber, I was able to discuss all things unfiltered with this loving soul. Putting her passion for healing, education and community involvement to a good use, Amber and her husband recently partnered with an Illinois based cannabis company to help spread awareness of the benefits of medical marijuana as a replacement for addictive opioid drugs. They are dedicated to help the medical marijuana industry grow in a positive way and have committed to put an end to the opioid drug addiction commonly used for pain. Amber wears many hats yet, strives to inspire and make a difference in the lives around her. I hope you’ll enjoy reading more about this amazing queen below.
Dom-What is your advice to young women that may be struggling with anxiety or depression in their lives?
Amber-First and foremost, I see you and I understand you. Through my struggle with anxiety and depression, I often felt very alone, because no one understood what was going on with me. It is normal to feel like you are absolutely crazy. You are NOT. It is normal to feel alone. You are NOT. There are people (here) who understand your journey and can be a support system along the way. Anxiety and depression are mental health diseases and should not be treated lightly. Figure out what your trigger points are, get a support system and learn to control them. You will feel much lighter and that dark cloud will begin to pass. Whether it’s family support, therapy, or meditation, seek help. You are not in this alone.
Dom-Why did you and Justin invest in the recreational marijuana industry? What are your ultimate goals with this endeavor?
Amber-Both Justin and I strongly believe in holistic healing methods and finding natural alternatives to prescription drugs. After research on the growth and health benefits of cannabis, we knew that we wanted to get involved. The goal is to continue to grow the business on a national level, and spread awareness about the benefits of medicinal marijuana.
Dom-As a successful minority woman in the marketing industry, how does it feel to know you are motivating the masses to tap into their potential and take action towards achieving their dreams?
Amber- As a minority woman in a leadership position, I am constantly having to fight the systematic barriers against me. If I can encourage women to keep pushing forward, then I will feel accomplished. I represent a small percentage of people in my industry, and I will continue to use my voice to uplift women who are fighting against the odds. There is no plateau or limit to our potential.
Dom-You and Justin have traveled all over the country, enjoying different sights and scenes. What are ways to keep the flame burning in your relationship?
Amber-Justin and I started our relationship as best friends, and no matter what, we always maintain our friendship. We make sure to have date night every week and when we go on vacations, we completely disconnect from the world (except for your occasional Instagram posts, LOL). Our favorite place that we have visited is Cape Town, South Africa! However, you can’t go wrong with the Chicago restaurant scene. Our go- to in Chicago is Tavern on Rush or Giordano's for the traditional deep dish pizza.
Dom-How do you define what it means to leave a legacy?
Amber-When I think about my legacy and what I want to leave behind for my future children, I think about my values and how much I have positively impacted those around me. I want my legacy to show that I have built a powerhouse, creating an avenue for minority women and making a difference in the community. Above all, I want people to easily recognize my values and the mantras that I live by. Always remember your value. A career does not define you - YOU define you and only YOU can accomplish whatever goals that you have. For too long, I waited for someone to open the doors for me and that caused me to become very stagnant in some of the things that I wanted to accomplish. I finally took control of my life and created avenues for myself. I set a plan and made sure that my actions aligned with that plan. It’s never too late to start building towards your dream, but you must start now. Every day that you put things off, is a day further from reaching your goals.
Follow Amber and her beautiful journey via social @Amberroxie
Edited by Joy Davis