A couple of weeks ago, Carolyn and I had a real chat. About mental health, taking care of ourselves and sadly, about her resigning from being part of our Ambassador team. She has been with us for years now, and while it will be weird not seeing her on our monthly calls, it was always her courage that led us to connect. Below she's shared with us all her reasons for leaving the crew and what this year has taught her about herself.
Thank you Caro for all your support and love, we are so proud of you.
For me, being involved with Zeenya Clothing as a supporter and ambassador was always so much more than wearing fun leggings. It began as a journey to support my friends in their business and grew into a love of the community that they had created. A community of women who challenge themselves and the norms of society, who encourage and celebrate one another, and who all look amazing in bright colours.
I’ve had so much fun along the way and feel sad to no longer be an official ambassador for such a wonderful brand. My decision to step away from being an ambassador was made so much easier knowing that I had the support of this wonderful community no matter what.
This year has been tough and as someone who has always struggled with depression and anxiety, 2020 has taken its toll on my mental health. A bad injury a few months ago has also meant I am unable to exercise how I wish, and I have had to let go of fitness and racing goals for the foreseeable future. Exercise has always been my stress relief and a great way to look after myself physically and mentally, so this has been very hard. I have arrived at a place where I need to simplify my life in order to look after myself well.
While I love being part of this community of ambassadors, the pressure of creating content and coming up with uplifting and inspiring posts in my current mental state and inability to exercise became a little too much. I chose to relieve myself of that pressure and give myself the permission to do so, knowing I would have the full support of my Zeenya sisters.
Another consideration of my decision is a wish to spend less time on social media and more time being present and doing things that I enjoy. Social media is a wonderful way to connect with people and communities that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, but as we all know, social media can be a dangerous platform for comparison and feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. This has been very real for me lately and I know that stepping away from it will give me the ability to rediscover myself and my worth and begin to appreciate again all of the wonderful things about myself and my life.
We have come a long way as a society in understanding and accepting mental health challenges, but we still have a long way to go. I still feel a lot of shame and stigma attached to my personal mental health struggles and often feel that I should be able to be stronger and cope better because of all of the other things I have been able to achieve in my life. However, even the most successfully and seemingly happy people struggle with mental health issues and I know that there is no shame in this.
This is why I choose to be honest about my depression and not hide my feelings away or pretend to the outside world that everything is fine. If I can step up and be a advocate for looking after ones self when times are tough and show others that there is no shame in asking for help or for timeout, then I hope I can make things easier for others going through similar struggles.
You all inspire me everyday and it is such a privilege to have been chosen to represent you and Zeenya clothing. Keep being your big, bright, beautiful selves and know that we all have our struggles and our hard times – but we can do hard things! Keep rising, keep challenging yourself, but know that there is no shame in the quiet times and taking time out to focus on you. Choose yourself, everyday!
With love and kindness