I’m the founder of Uncharted Management. A full-scale talent management firm working with music artists, actors, and media personalities.
WHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?
I was in college, after struggling for probably five years in silence, I remember calling my Mom in the middle of the night and finally telling her how low things had become and I asked for help.
I was struggling with my sexuality, with anxiety, and with a deep depression. All of which felt like a weight I would never be able to get out from under. That night was the turning point and the beginning of a journey towards recovery that has been every day since that call.
I’m grateful for her action, her non-judgement, and for being along side of me for those initial steps forward (and all of these years since).
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?
- Being creative, and helping people be creative, is the entire purpose of my life. Anytime my mind is focused on creating and making and expressing through various forms of content or art, I feel the most myself. And my happiest.
Music and Art
- Music has saved my life. Period. If it wasn’t for lyrics to relate to, even as a young boy, I would have been in an even darker place. And even as an adult, listening to songs has been a very strong therapy for me. I’ve never been much of a crier but music makes me very emotional on all levels. I have people tell me all the time, that the music business isn’t a life or death job. My response is always “we may not be doctors, literally saving lives, but we are absolutely saving souls.” And I truly believe that. Music and art can save you.
- I didn’t want to believe that exercise would be a huge help, particularly because I’m rather awkward when it comes to physical activity, but I’ve found my own version of it that works for me. I’ve found that I love walking, for hours, through a city, and usually being lost inside songs while I do. Being outside and away from any confined spaces and breathing deeply has changed my mindset, on a daily basis.
- I’ve been going to see a therapist since I was in my early 20’s. I cannot stress how much it helped me. The open and inclusive setting to share my thoughts and experiences has made me feel heard. And that’s a major win in recovery.
- Adopting my dog was the single best decision I’ve made as an adult. The unconditional love that she shares with me each day is amazing. And the purpose I have, each day, taking care of her, gives me a great sense of pride. Animals are amazing for us, and patient with us. She knows just when I need a tender moment, or a funny moment. I’m my purest form, when I’m playing with her.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?
Ask for help. My entire journey with anxiety and depression over the last 20 years all started to change when I asked for help. And from that point I started to assemble the pieces of the puzzle that would lead me to healthier decisions and mindfulness. We all need tools, and they aren’t going to be the same for everyone, so asking for help and talking to loved ones, friends, and a therapist, can really help you cater a set of skills that will help with your own recovery.
And be kind to yourself. It’s an easy piece of advice to say, but harder to carry out. It’s important though. You’re going to have harder days. Recognize them be gentle with yourself.
– Chris, Founder of Uncharted Management. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.