Why I didn't drive off the bridge

Book Debbie to speak

Reinventing your life is tempting no matter what your age. After 50 or 60, it becomes an imperative. However you want to change the world, or whoever you want to be, now is the moment. There is no waiting for later.

But reinvention is not about changing jobs or retiring, or moving to a new place, or traveling – the real journey is the one that happens inside your head and your heart. The journey of adventure is easy. The bigger challenge is confronting the secrets you keep.

At age 62, my husband and I decided to take a gap year to reinvent our lives. We left Washington D.C., after 31 years, and moved to an island off the coast of Maine. We lived in Paris for a month to learn French. We trekked for mountain gorillas, then volunteered in Africa, a lifelong dream. I thought the novelty of our adventures would get rid of a secret I had been keeping for decades: I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. Instead my inner demons came roaring back.

At first, shame held me back. But as I talked more openly about how chronic depression has affected my life and how I deal with it, I discovered, to my surprise, that many others want to talk about it too. Revealing my secret unlocks the secret for everyone.

Depression affects 15 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide. There is a hunger for the acknowledgement of depression and anxiety as chronic – yet manageable – conditions, especially when your life appears thriving and successful on the outside.

My new talk explores my surprising journey of reinvention at age 62. From planned adventures to unexpected despair and depression. And, finally, to the clarity you get by unlocking your secrets.

Named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company, I have spoken at major conferences and before business groups throughout the U.S., Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and China.

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Book Debbie to speak