Last week, Michelle Obama confessed she’s dealing with a form of “low-grade” depression. Between the racial injustice, the pandemic, and the tomfoolery of the Trump administration, she’s struggling to keep it all together.
The former first lady revealed all in the second episode of her new podcast on Spotify featuring invited guest Michele Norris, a columnist at the Washington Post. Throughout their conversation, it was discussed how she’s privately managed to navigate some of the most difficult events of the year. The New York Times pulled quotes from the episode.
“There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low,” Mrs. Obama said, adding that her sleep was off. “You know, I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself.”
“I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression,” she added. “Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”
The racial strife that brought on the depression may have started with George Floyd’s death in May.
“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,” she said. “It has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life — in, in a while.”
And just like the rest of us, she is beyond tired of how the quarantine has been managed.
“There’s almost like there’s a limit to our sacrifice and it was about a month and then we just got tired of the virus,” she said. “That’s been disheartening to see so many people who have grown tired of staying at home because the virus didn’t impact them.”
Fans grew concerned after learning of her mental struggles, but she took to Instagram to assure us she’s “doing just fine.” In fact, she felt compelled to speak after learning about parents and teachers struggling with going back to school amid the rising coronavirus infections across the country.
She also encouraged those suffering from heavy emotions to process them freely. And, in a motherly fashion, called on her followers to connect with loved ones who may not be doing well these days. “ 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,” she advised. “Don’t be afraid to offer them a shoulder to lean on, or to ask for one yourself. Love you all.”
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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. Like I said in that conversation with @Michele__Norris, 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. 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. 📸: Adam Garber @garbr