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5 Ways To Overcome Depression As An Extrovert

That "strong friend" needs love too.

Wellness

Everyone thinks that since some people are extremely outgoing, that everything is all good with that person. But, even the strong friend goes through private battles sometimes.


As someone who is an extrovert, I've been the outgoing, lively, people-loving person of the group. As an extrovert, I've also dealt with depression for a very long time.

Model: Fontaine Felisha Foxworth Photo: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

My exterior is genuine, but it is often an armor for how I've dealt with my personal despair and feelings of alienation from others throughout the years. Contrary to popular belief, extremely extroverted people are the greatest empathic observers of life, however, they don't always show it.

If you are someone who is always the life of the party, the storyteller, the comedian, the wild card, or the most outspoken person in the group, it's likely that you may be used to everyone thinking that you are rarely sad or feeling blue. Perhaps you're like me and your extroverted ways cover up some very private woes that you seem to handle alone.

No matter how alone you feel, understand that you are important, you are loved, you matter, and you are on this earth for a reason. Depression is very real and can often lead to feelings of defeat, but it isn't impossible to overcome. The following list include ways that I, as an extroverted millennial empath fight my own battle with depression and how you can too.

Shout & Cry It Out

Model: Fontaine Felisha FoxworthPhoto: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

When I'm feeling weighed down by sadness, sometimes it helps me to let it go by screaming as loudly as I can. This is obviously something you do in the privacy of your own home when no one is around, or out in nature where no one can hear you. Ask God, the universe, your spirit guides, or whomever you ask for guidance, for urgent help in your time of need. Tell them how you have been feeling, and what you have been going through. Curse at them if you have to! Demand answers! You might sound crazy to yourself, but you will feel 100% lighter once you let it go.

It might help to close all your windows, and sit in a closet to muffle the sound. Once you get the frustration out, tears may naturally fall, and you will feel a soothing release.

Dance Your Heart Out

Model: Fontaine Felisha FoxworthPhoto: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

In your room or private space, put on some music that makes you happy and stirs your soul. Allow your body to translate the rhythms, vibrations, frequencies, and emotions of the music. When you are extroverted, speech is not the only way that you express yourself. Through moving your body, you can nonverbally extend your extroverted nature. Sometimes going out and dancing can take your mind off any heaviness in your heart.

The mantra "dancing like nobody's watching" has lifted my vibration and helped elevate my low spirits. I show out when I'm dancing! Sometimes music is not even necessary. Dancing to the sounds of nature is very healing. Go to the beach or the park to release any pain you may feel by dancing. I like to record myself dancing and share it with the world. Express yourself and surrender to release.

Be Transparent On Social Media

Model: Fontaine Felisha FoxworthPhoto: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

One thing that extroverted people have in common is that they are very transparent about the many troubles in their lives. Being honest in this day and age can be hard to do when we are surrounded by such superficiality. If you have an Instagram or Facebook account, don't be afraid to speak your truth openly to others. As long as you are authentic, you will receive an outpouring of support from folks that you didn't even know are watching.

You inspire more people than you even realize. People like Cardi B and Letitia Wright are rising to success by gaining more than just followers. They are gaining empathy and support from people who are moved by their realness, extroverted individuality, and their willingness to speak their truth. You also never know who you could help get through their own tough times just by sharing your honesty.

Transmute Any Sadness Through Creativity & Imagination

Model: Fontaine Felisha FoxworthPhoto: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

One of the greatest things that got me out of one of the lowest depressive points in my adult life was the inspiration I received for a creative project I created, originally called Brown Girl Tarot. On top of becoming ill, I was experiencing what spiritualists call the "Dark Knight of The Soul." The depths of my despair was darker than anything I had ever experienced before. I was suicidal and malnourished. I stayed inside my house for days on end without eating or showering. It was as if I was in another dimension of pain and depression.

The only thing that saved me was expression of my imagination, visions, and dreams through divinely-inspired creativity. My bright future in lightworking, humanitarianism, writing, filmmaking, and entrepreneurship is what keeps me elevated. Out of that sinister darkness came light and healing through art, imagination, and spirituality.

Find Yourself Through A Spiritual Journey

Model: Fontaine Felisha FoxworthPhoto: Charles Lyles @lylesimage

Last but not least on this list, is the importance of experiencing a spiritual journey of enlightenment. I call my own ascension, "Finding Fontaine." By understanding the importance of the seven chakras in the human body, I was able to balance my energy to overcome ongoing depression. This is something that anyone, with any kind of personality, should utilize to overcome the darkness of depression. It takes work and dedication to constantly work with your aura to remain mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy.

You were given the personality that you have, on this earth for a reason. The universe makes no mistakes. Transmute all the alienation that you have ever felt in the past because of your outgoing qualities, to not only heal yourself first and foremost - but to be of service to the collective well-being of all humanity.

Once you embark on the transformative journey of spiritual ascension, your extroverted persona will only allow you to shine brighter as a beacon of light to others.

Are you the extrovert in your friend group? How do you overcome feelings of depression or sadness when everyone sees you as the "strong friend"? Let us know in the comments down below.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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