“For A Very Long Time I Was In Denial:” Karen Civil Reveals Battle With Depression
When you look at Karen Civil you see a woman who has it all — brains, beauty… Beats by Dre. The legacy the marketing and social media entrepreneur is building and the brand she’s established precedes her, but if you were to assume the success she’s attained comes easy you’d be wrong, very wrong. In her first book, Be You & Live Civil: Tools For Unlocking Your Potential and Living in Your Purpose, the 30-year-old goes into great depth explaining what it takes to get to where she’s gotten, and we’re not just talking the typical run of the mill “work hard, play hard” advice you might expect from someone of her calibur, but the struggle of fighting mental illness on a daily basis.
Civil stopped by the office and opened up to us about her book and her battle with depression as well as finding the courage to talk openly about her mental health struggle. Check out what she shared with us.
MadameNoire (MN): Tell us about your book, Be You & Live Civil: Tools For Unlocking Your Potential and Living in Your Purpose
Karen Civil (KC): When I started this about a year ago, I got a book deal through Simon & Shuster with Cash Money and unfortunately they’re going through their issues so I decided to take the first four chapters and put the book out myself, independently. It’s four different stages in my life, things that I went through from depression to starting my career to re-starting my career and finding balance. Hopefully my stories are able to connect with people who read this so that they see that they’re not alone in this journey. We have those ups and downs and those days where we feel like giving in. In our community we’re not allowed to talk about depression and anxiety, but I’m touching on all of them.
MN: Was it difficult for you to write about those issues?
KC: Yes, especially dealing with depression because I have a chemical imbalance. People see your life on social media and they say ‘Oh my gosh it’s perfect’ and I’m like no, everyday it’s not even just a struggle, it’s something new and it’s a new challenge to make sure that I’m mentally stable and healthy and that I’m okay. It was just great to finally get it out and talk about it.
MN: How did you find the strength to do so?
KC: For me, for a very long time I was in denial because when you say you’re sad or you’re overwhelmed, we consider it whining or complaining. People say ‘count your blessings,’ and it’s like ‘yeah, I am, but I’m still sad. Something is wrong with me.’ I had to acknowledge it. I didn’t for so long, for so many years, I was just like, ‘I’ll get over it. I don’t know what this is. I want to be happy, I want to feel better.’ Even if it was a great moment, I still felt like that so it’s acknowledging something is wrong and seeking help for it and that’s honestly what it was — taking that first step. Now I have a support system; I have family, I have friends, I have a therapist who I love and I just deal with my issues head on now.
MN: What else do you touch on in the book?
KC: I talk about growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, because people don’t know too much about my upbringing. I don’t have family in this business. I had two parents that loved me, that worked 24-7 and this is what instilled hard work in me. So you hear the stories about my upbringing, my religion. I had three friends that passed and I touch on two of them because it was a very personal time for me. When you’re doing so well and you look to your right, there’s your friend [right beside you] but now I can no longer look to the right because all three of them are no longer here so [I also talk about] having those conversations of losing a loved one and how to cope and moving forward.
MN: How do you remain so humble in spite of all you’ve accomplished so young?
KC: I know it can be taken away at any moment. I have three people who are no longer here for three different reasons and they were all of a young age, so to speak to them one day and not speak to them the next really put me in a place of, Karen, you don’t know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow. You don’t know what’s going to happen to you in the next hour. So you just live your life, live to the best of your potential, and just be happy.
To purchase Be You & Live Civil: Tools For Unlocking Your Potential and Living in Your Purpose, visit LiveCivilBook.com. For more on Karen Civil, check her out on this season’s episode of She’s The Boss here.