Hi Rosie fam!
Some of you may have read my contributions to The Rosie Report from my work as Editor-in-Residence. I’m honored to now introduce myself as The Rosie Report’s first Editor-in-Chief. My transition has felt like a whirlwind—one that I’m grateful to be caught up in. Telling stories and amplifying the voices of others has always mattered to me and being a part of this organization has allowed me to do that.
As your Editor-in-Chief I am dedicated to spending the next several months finding new and creative ways to elevate the platform and help amplify the voices from the marketing and advertising world — at all levels.
With that said, I’m excited to start this new journey with Mental Health Awareness Month. As someone who continues to work through mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, I’m thrilled to be kicking off a new series that will showcase people’s unique perspectives on what mental health means to them and how they manage it at work.
I’ll admit that in recent months I’ve become embittered by the term ‘mental health’ because it began to feel like a buzzword to me—I have since ignored that feeling. Mental health is just one aspect of what it means to be completely healthy. Being mentally healthy to me, is about the power of seeking joy despite the storms I may be traversing in my life. It’s important to find ways to navigate the storms in a healthy way that keep depression, low-self esteem, and anxiety at bay. And even when you can’t, knowing that tomorrow may be brighter.
I never truly examined how deeply my work affected my mental health until the winter of 2017. It was exactly a year after I suffered a miscarriage, which happened in the bathroom, just a few feet from my cubicle. I remember rushing out of my office building, breathing heavy, fighting back to tears ,to make the urgent call to my nurse. I needed to know what to do. I remember confiding in my manager whom I had an authentic relationship with, and pleading with her to not tell her boss. I didn’t want her to know, because my workspace was not a place where I felt emotionally safe and sharing sensitive news like that was not an option. A year later, I was experiencing bouts of depression and eventually suffered a nervous breakdown. I immediately sought therapy to help deal with the trauma from my loss. Therapy not only helped me face the pain of my miscarriage, it also helped me understand how work aided in my trauma. I was battling microaggressions, racial inequities, and also work was a physical representation of what I had lost that day in the women’s bathroom. It took me a while to feel comfortable enough to share my story, but since I started, I realize how many women have experienced this type of loss. Sharing our experiences is healing and hopefully can help someone else heal.
I know that I’m blessed and privileged to have a salary, mental health days off from work, health insurance, and affordable access to therapy, which has helped me reclaim my time (thank you Maxine Waters) and my space at work.
Now as I settle into my first week leading The Rosie Report’s editorial team, I ask that you honor your time, love yourself, and give yourself grace. And like a former colleague once told me, “It’s just work.”
Here’s to collaborating with fellow Rosies, sharing more stories full of courage and curiosity, and ensuring that our community leaves our garden feeling loved, heard, and valued.
Asha’s Socials: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram