Help for the D-Word


By Lorraine Pursell

I feel terrified writing on depression as my intro to Skirt. I’d rather be impressive and not show you my underbelly. But I believe in vulnerability and authenticity and you’d hear it from me sooner or later.

The D-word’s big. Everyone knows everyone on Zoloft, Paxil and other Rx’s who feign manicured lives.
B. S. I lead a global movement ushering women through depression’s fog into full self-expression.

Yet for 18 years my addiction to Sertraline (Zoloft) was my shame, my secret. Here I was a counselor and empowerment coach, for God’s sake, helping women and their families create peaceful, harmonious lives, but unable to loose it’s clutches without seriously wanting to leave the planet.

It’s still hard to talk about, but mostly because it’s a distant memory now – gifted coaches got me off Zoloft, alcohol, sugar, gluten and dairy, and The Fog’s lifted – I’ve had five years of emotional freedom.

Through my trek I’ve adopted loads of tools for lifting depression’s hold, first for myself, and then for hundreds of beloved clients in the U.S., Canada, Europe, UK and Australia since June 2013, when I took my last 1/8 tab dose.

There are a plethora of tricks to fool the ultimate trickster – depression: Try saying out loud or to yourself, “Those aren’t my thoughts,” or asking, “What do I want to express right now but feel really afraid to?” There’s getting comfortable naming five things you appreciate about yourself and owning them. Try declaring, “I’m so happy!” five times without cracking a smile.

What we must understand is that when we’re about to take a forward leap in our career, life, confidence or self-expression, often doubt, fear, anxiety and shame swoop in, robbing our hope. Repeating the habit of holding ourselves back is enough to make us give up and stay in bed (like I did for years). We’re exhausted and depressed by the pattern. Inauthenticity takes its toll.

I now see it as a game. I’ve studied and reverse engineered the labyrinth and it’s really not scary at all. But you couldn’t have told me that this morning! I was riddled with doubt, fear, anxiety and shame at the thought of writing this article.

So, I did whatever I could to feel good – tea, leaning against my tree, earthing, talking to someone who’s as Bad Ass as me, reminding myself who I am, chatting with the nice lady, Shannon, in my leasing office.

I could’ve taken an Epsom salts bath, took a nap, listened to something inspiring, but I just dropped it for a long while. Mostly distraction works for me. By late afternoon it felt like the fullness of time, and I opened up a Word doc and started pounding.

I heard an almost audible voice in 2013 say, “Depression is the opposite of expression.” Even the words are opposite. That quote is the foundational work of lifting depression’s hold and ending its game.

Here’s why: When we brave up and express everything that’s in us, either to ourselves or to others if we wish, when we own our truth and know our honesty, when we revere our feelings about ourselves, poof! Game over.

It’s the ultimate self-love journey. “Expression is the opposite of depression.” What are you dying to do? How loudly do you want to sing and laugh? When do you want to sway to Starbucks’ playlist but stop?

It’s the stopping that leads to depression- years and years of stopping- since we were little. It builds a cement casing, a thick rubber wall that numbs making us aliens in our own skin. Depression follows.

The journey is a brave one back home to you, falling deeply in love with and having immense appreciation for everything inside you that wants to express outward. Doesn’t it make you breathe? My fear today was of disapproval, but it’s not enough to shut me up. The price of shutting is too high. I choose vulnerable and authentic.

Since 1995, Lorraine Pursell has used her journey from debilitating depression to a life
she loves for her teachings. She’s a global women’s empowerment coach, International
Bestselling Author, and TV, radio and video personality appearing on NBC weekly for 2.5 years empowering moms to live Their Great Big Life. Get Lorraine’s most acclaimed eBook FREE at For more information, visit


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