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She might not live in the White House anymore, but that hasn’t stopped former First Lady Michelle Obama inspiring us on the regular. In fact, she’s our go-to girl when it comes to pep talks, as proven this month when she opened up about her experience with low grade depression on The Michelle Obama Podcast.
‘Not just because of the quarantine,’ she continued. ‘But because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.’
The podcast’s release prompted public concern for Michelle’s health and the former First Lady was forced to speak out to reassure fans, thanking them for their well wishes.
‘I just wanted to check in with you all because a lot of you have been checking in on me after hearing this week’s podcast. First things first — I’m doing just fine. There’s no reason to worry about me,’ Michelle posted to Instagram. ‘I’m thinking about the folks out there risking themselves for the rest of us — the doctors and nurses and essential workers of all kinds. I’m thinking about the teachers and students and parents who are just trying to figure out school for the fall. I’m thinking about the people out there protesting and organizing for a little more justice in our country.’
Her post continues: ‘The idea that what this country is going through shouldn’t have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all the time—that just doesn’t feel real to me. So I hope you all are allowing yourselves to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. I hope you’re listening to yourselves and taking a moment to reflect on everything that’s coming at us, and what you might be able to do about it. And to all of you who’ve reached out—thank you. I hope you’re also reaching out to all those you’re closest with, not just with a text, but maybe with a call or a videochat. Don’t be afraid to offer them a shoulder to lean on, or to ask for one yourself. Love you all.’
‘I don’t think I’m unusual, in that,’ Michelle announced in the podcast that caused the concern earlier this month. ‘But I’d be remiss to say that part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country since its birth. I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.
‘I’m waking up in the middle of the night, ’cause I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness. I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low. You know, I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself, and sometimes there’s been a week or so where I had to surrender to that, and not be so hard on myself. And say, “You know what? You’re just not feeling that treadmill right now.”’
She continued: ‘So for me, my spirit is lifted when I am feeling healthy, when I am surrounded by good people, you know, so I reach out. I reach out to my family, and to my friends, even in this time of quarantine. You know, I fought to continue to find a way to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, and my girlfriends, my husband, my kids; it’s the small things … because you have to recognize that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it. So you kinda have to sit in it for a minute, to know, oh, oh, I’m feeling off. So now I gotta, I gotta feed myself with something better.’
The Michelle Obama Podcast is available on Spotify.