Other Birthdays: Springtime Depression Party & Listening Walk
Sunday April 8, 2018
We, of course, want spring to come back. But for a lot of us, a seasonal expectation for joy causes paralysis, exacerbating loud minds and self-loathing. Spring is when most suicides happen around the world - not winter!
Let's celebrate the effort of living with depression and anxiety, and if you have attempted or considered suicide before, this day is for honoring a time/times when you survived it, an "other birthday" if you will. Depressed people, people with other birthdays, and people who have lost loved ones to suicide - all deserve beautiful celebrations where conversation with platitudes isn't the primary mode of connecting with others. So let's go outside and walk across Chicago, not talking much, while listening to the obvious and less obvious places where rebirth happens.
Feel free to meet at only one location, or come for the whole walk:
2pm: Meet at Humboldt Park lagoon across from the Boathouse cafe, Externalized Internal Mind Crown construction, hearty snacks, distribute Noisy Mind Balloons.
3pm: Deep Listening* walk towards Canal and Roosevelt.
6pm approximately: Arrive on the roof of Whole Foods at Canal and Roosevelt, Other Birthday celebration.
7pm: Dinner at White Palace Grill (also at Canal and Roosevelt), watch the spinning cakes on display.
Why this route:
In early April of 2012 I reached my limit with depression: I sat at the Humboldt Park lagoon, looked at the water, then biked to the Whole Foods at Canal and Roosevelt to determine the feasibility of falling off the rooftop parking lot. Since then, I sometimes visit that parking lot as a lovingly cathartic check-in on my own self-worth and broader cosmic perspective. Not dying via Whole Foods is worth a party alone, but this event isn't just about my past; the intention is that the effort of walking for 6 miles through Chicago honors the effort of everyday life when depressed, and focusing on listening opens us to soft and powerful experiences of connection.
* Deep Listening is a registered trademark of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.