While watching the news on yesterday, I couldn’t help but listen intently at how the French Open was failing one of it’s biggest stars, Naomi Osaka. This young lady had willingly made herself vulnerable and human by telling her employer that she suffered from depression. Her cry for help was so loud, that instead of being shown compassion, she was fined and threatened with more severe punishment. What a trash move to make against a player for wanting to put her own mental health first. The never of this young lady, right? Wrong. The nerve of society making it seem perfectly ok for an organization to say, forget your mental well being, you work us.
I applaud Naomi Osaka for being brave enough to even come out and sort of normalize depression even in someone whom the average Joe would think was on top of the world. I too have suffered from depression on many different occasions and have not been capable of being as brave as Naomi about sharing that information with people. The Mayo Clinic says that women are more likely than men to suffer from depression, and that depression can occur at any age (2019). There is no one size fit all depression either. My cases of depression may have had me feeling different each time that I dealt with it. I have learned more about it as I have finally recognized and accepted it for what it was.
Naomi Osaka has become even more of an inspiration to me because when given the option to choose between herself and her job, she boldly chose herself. We should normalize people choosing themselves when the very people that should be choosing you, leave you hanging. So many time I have been guilty of putting others and their wants or needs ahead of my own. It happens at work, and at home being a mom. Unfortunately, our culture can make it seem as if you are being a selfish mother if you ever decide to make the hard decision of choosing yourself. Sometimes it is necessary that in order for some of us parents to be a better mom or dad, we have to choose ourselves.
Choosing yourself is not selfish when it comes to ensuring that you are in the best possible shape to be the best possible you all around. Your children will appreciate it. Your coworkers or supervisors will appreciate it, and if they don’t then you can Osaka-it to them and take a mental health break. Ok I know that last part was corny but I could not resist saying. Oh, c’mon I know you laughed or smiled at least, right? Now that I have officially made things awkward, I’m going to wrap this up by saying:
If you or someone you know is experiencing some of the following symptoms, do not hesitate to seek help:
- Ongoing feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Significant changes in your sleep pattern, such as trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much
- Fatigue or unexplained pain or other physical symptoms without an apparent cause
- Problems concentrating or remembering things
- Changes in appetite leading to significant weight loss or weight gain
- Physical aches and pains
- Feeling as though life isn’t worth living, or having thoughts of suicide
National Suicide Prevention Hotline-https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255