Note: Since The Oprah Project began the name of the blog has been changed once again, but the project remains active.
I’d been on mood stabilizers nearly a year (after several unbearable attempts at finding the right one). And though the pervasive thoughts and logorrhea were dulled, the depression remained, as did the ever-present and overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and unhappiness. Not even the antidepressant I was prescribed just days before Christmas this year could help.
Why not go to therapy? one might ask. Well, I had been in therapy for years, and I pretty much knew the drill and what I had to do. Many times I would walk into my therapists office and say, “I know I need to do x, y and z, I just need to find the motivation and desire to do it.”
So I began thinking of other ways to find my way back to myself. Which is where this blog, and the Oprah Project come in.
Months ago I decided I was going to start blogging again. I’m healthier when I blog, happier. But I needed to find a way to blog with anonymity. Some may ask why not just start journaling, nothing required me to put my writing out there publicly to others. But I know from readers of my former blog, that my posts helped a lot of them.They made them laugh.They made them feel less lonely. And sometimes it made their own perceived inadequacies and unhappiness look a whole lot better than they looked before reading a particular post.
So I began the search for a new blog name, that search lasted two months, because anything I came up with didn’t fit. It didn’t feel right.
And then one weekend I received several signs that pointed me in the direction of a new blog. There was an O Magazine cover that shouted out to me in big bold letters “Your are not alone! We’re starting a conversation about anxiety, depression, help and hope”(O Magazine, February 2016). And then a day later I came across another “The Year of You! Unlock the secrets of true motivation and watch your life soar” (O Magazine, January 2016). I also attended a CD launch for a friend that week, and was moved to tears and overcome with a wave of emotions I have yet to define. During the introduction to one of her songs my friend mentioned a women whom she had met at a retreat who had inspired her in the creation of this very album, a women who I read, by coincidence, two days later, was a favorite of Oprah’s. In fact, Snatum Kaur had appeared at a small birthday gathering for Oprah in her Maui home — a surprise to O from some of her closest friends.
Also that same week, after browsing through some recorded tv shows on my DVR, I grappled with the whether to lose myself in an episode of “Madam Secretary” or immerse myself mentally and spiritually in an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I decided to go with O and randomly chose an episode titled “Living with a Whole Heart,” in which Oprah sat with author Brené Brown who offered advice for overcoming shame and living with a whole heart. I was thoroughly moved, enlightened, and about halfway through the episode I knew, without a doubt, the name of my new blog. I also had a vision for my future and I plan to fill the pages of this blog with excerpts of my life as I work towards creating this vision.
Determined to approach this project differently than others in my life — impulsively, immediately and all in, only to be all out a couple of months later — I sat with the idea and let it marinate for a few days … and soon this simple idea began to cultivate itself into a clear, cohesive, structured writing project and self-healing journey.
So here you it have it.The Oprah Project — 365 days of living with O as my guide (utilizing the hundreds and thousands of resources Oprah has made available to the world through the years).
It began on February 29, 2016, my 11th birthday in 44 years (yes, I’m a Leap Year baby), and how fitting to begin a journey back to myself on that very special day of my birth that only comes every four years for me.