Professional Anxiety: Unmedicated, Unapologetic and Successful
Hello, my name is Bri Clark and I suffer from anxiety and depression. Because they are like twins. Only they are like ying and yang twins. Moreover, they are totally female because only women can ride someone like these two bitches do me. Beyond that, I have four beautiful children, I have been an entrepreneur since I was 18 (I’m 32 now.) and I have been married for 15 years. I own a publishing house that caters to romantic fiction, House of Belle Press. (I’m a southern belle.) I’m an award winning author. In 2011, I launched Belle Consulting a social media marketing company that works exclusively with small business, entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers. Think of the little guy who doesn’t have a big marketing budget and that’s who I work with.
And I’ve done all that while on and off medication for depression and anxiety. Currently I am not on anything and that is ok. Recently I have considered getting on something again. That’s ok too. And every month when I’m menstrual I find that I sometimes may need a Propanol. (What woman doesn’t?)
Having these afflictions can make life working from home especially hard. There are times that I want to shut down, read romance novels, or times where I want to just move. I want to do anything but sit at the computer and work. I’d rather paint a wall, rearrange furniture or go shopping. Because I am fidgety. Because I feel smothered, overwhelmed, or unappreciated.And what’s worse these feelings can come at anytime, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
For those “episodes” as I call them I create what I call the coping list. These are the list of things I need to do for my businesses that are absolutely imperative. Then I break them down by day. In my mind I tell myself that this is all I need to do each day. Once I’m done I can shut down or do something else I WANT to do.
This doesn’t mean I don’t love my job. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to work for my clients. It just means I was having a bad day, or a bad week.
Now at times there are episodes that are launched by bad news. Like that time that my best friend of two years, my mentor, and client fired me via email. She repeatedly tried to contact me but I was so devastated that I couldn’t even respond. Every time I saw her phone number on my phone or saw her name on email or social media I would run to the bathroom with vomiting spells or diarrhea. In order to be able to function I had to block all contact. I was so upset that when I called my husband he left work to come and be with me. This is a very rare occasion. (You’ll just have to take my word for it.) For the past six months I have sequestered myself in my home after once having a very prosperous and rewarding networking career. I don’t want to take the risk of seeing her or having to explain how I once was so active in her organization and then one day I’m gone.
Other people may think that this a very drastic and counterproductive situation but in reality it’s me honoring my emotions. After some time I have been able to think through the situation. And I’ve learned the firing isn’t really the whole trigger. While that definitely hurt me it was the execution. I deserved to be treated better.
At the end of the day my life has changed dramatically.
I now spend a lot more time at home, a new home my husband and I purchased. I have a fantastic home office in a central location that allows me to have consultations easily. I’m more available to serve my friends and family. And my dog pack, did I mention I have four small dogs, are super excited to have me around.
While the trigger wasn’t the best, my life has catapulted into a new and exciting direction. The time I used to spend networking in my community I spend networking online. (This is how I used to do it when I launched my business in 2011.) Some people have come in my life that I am learning to adore, like Sarah Fader. (Hugs and kisses to her) At the end of the day I have to honor myself and acknowledge that I have mental illness. And when I have episodes I need to have grace for myself. By showing myself grace I am more prone to have grace for those around me too.
Don’t you think?
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Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own. Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything. She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, owning a publishing house, a marketing company, speaking on social media and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.” Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.
Bri can be found:
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