I Can’t Get Out Of Bed, I Feel Lost

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

Has this ever happened to you? So many of us pretend that everything is ok when we know deep down that it isn’t. If you’re a regular subscriber/reader of my blog you might be asking yourself what the Hell does this have to do with Interior Design? Isn’t he an interior designer based in Chicago? Yes and Yes! However, I feel it’s important to get real sometimes. Are you afraid of what others think of you? We keep it masked, self medicate with booze, sleeping pills, antidepressants etc. One of the things that really bothers me today (yes, there are many) is our lack of empathy to those who have mental health issues.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers
I have never been diagnosed with depression, but I’m sure I have it. It has taken me years of speaking to close friends and those I trust to come to this conclusion. A few years ago I was plagued with horrible dark thoughts and wanted to end my life. I was at a holiday party talking to a designer friend. I felt we were having a very open conversation until she said to me very kindly, Ken you are depressed and need to see someone. Her words surprised me because I thought I was hiding it so beautifully. Oh how clever I thought I was, no one knows it but me! Her words shook me to the core because I thought if N__ could see this everyone else can too. So why was I ashamed to admit this to anyone let alone myself?
I’m lucky, I didn’t have to see a therapist or go on medication. I realized I had to help myself, change my life, and my attitude to save myself. I came to the conclusion that I had the power. This must sound bizarre but I’m the product of a grandfather that would tell me (imagine chubby Kenny with a crew cut) “just get up and pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. Well hell’s bells–he was an immigrant, so different from me, a kid who lost his dad at two years of age, well that’s another story for another time. How could my grandfather understand me? I already knew I was an artist and not cut out to be a farmer like him. I was nothing like him, but in this case he was right. It only took decades for this to sink in.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

So let’s talk about what this blog is really about! My design practice has changed the last three years since my epiphany. Since I got into the business I have always helped my clients design wise. But this life crisis reaffirmed what I always knew deep inside. It became my mission to change my design process, to make sure I truly understood my client’s needs and issues before we ever put pen to paper. Not all of us are forthcoming right away. You don’t have to tell me EVERYTHING, but if you want to you can. I’m not a gossip, this is between us! We can unburden ourselves by opening up. It doesn’t have to be me, it can be your parents, significant other, best friend. Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable. I hope you don’t think less of me for opening up. Do you? Well if you do and want to stop reading this I get it. If you want to know more please read on.
I have several friends and clients who are going through horrible things right now. My new follower S__ recently shared her challenges with depression now that she’s a widow, she’s the reason I’m writing this. I know that I cannot change their lives, that’s in their hands sadly. Most therapists will tell you the same thing. However, I know my listening helps them. I believe we can move these dark clouds away by talking and showing compassion to each other. So what should you do if you’re feeling lost?

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

1. Change your life slowly. You cannot expect to remove negative thoughts or behaviors over night.
2. Forgive others who have hurt you, no matter what. Holding onto bitter feelings will make you sick eventually. Most importantly FORGIVE YOURSELF, no matter what you’ve done. This is crucial.
3. Change your surroundings if you can, sell your place, move or redecorate. Paint colors really effect our mood. A new color palette is the best way to change your life quickly for very little money.
4. Establish a schedule, keep yourself busy, join a gym or exercise/walk daily, get a dog/cat (who depends on you), help kids in crisis, tutor, volunteer at your church or temple.
5. Please do not deny yourself professional help or medication. This is nothing to be ashamed of. I do not understand why depression has such a stigma after all these years. It’s 2017 for goodness sake!
6. Be KIND to yourself, be good to you. Do one thing daily that makes your heart sing, it doesn’t have to be a big deal, but remember you deserve joy in your life.
7. Gratitude! I often think of things I am grateful for each day, the little things we take for granted are beautiful. Don’t lose sight of this. Keeping a journal or specifically a gratitude journal can help, there is so much to be grateful for. You are alive and a beautiful soul, don’t forget it!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers
Many of my clients are going through life changes: divorce, widowed, empty nesters, depression, their kids have issues, single/looking for a mate. Some of these issues are more challenging than others. It is my goal to help you through it all while making your environment better. Part of the healing process involves changing the environment you inhabit. I have many solutions to make your life better, you will be happier when you go to bed and it will be easier to get up in the morning. And please do me a favor, if you’re down and need help call me, I’ll listen. I firmly believe we’re all here to help each other, thank you for listening to me N__, you saved my life.
Big Hugs-

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Designers

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  • Julie
    October 6, 2017 at 3:16 am 

    Thank you. ❤

  • Maida Korte
    October 6, 2017 at 11:06 am 

    Thank you Kenneth for your transparency. I already feel that your sharing makes us friends. I am moved……….deeply. Love, Maida

    • kennethfawalter
      October 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm 

      Thank you for your comment. You are very welcome indeed Maida, and yes we are friends! Peace & Love to you-

  • Buddy
    October 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm 

    Thank you for sharing.
    You have a kind and loving spirit and by sharing it you’ll be saving lives.
    Well done!

    • kennethfawalter
      October 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm 

      I’m honored you took time to write me Rollins, thank you for your support! We are all fellow travelers on the road of life. I hope and pray I can help others so their suffering can be as minimal as possible. Big hugs-

  • lerougeetlenoir.net
    October 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm 

    Thank you for writing this Kenneth. It’s a subject very close to my heart. You’re a really special person and I feel very touched and inspired.

    • kennethfawalter
      October 8, 2017 at 9:39 pm 

      Thank you Emily, your support on this is important to me. For years I was ashamed of having feelings or being overly emotional. I’m ok with it now thankfully. I hope that I can help all my friends with their issues. It is by helping others we help ourselves. Even though we have never met in person I consider you a friend, I hope one day we will actually meet, xo

  • kennethfawalter
    October 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm 

    Nancy, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to comment. I’m sorry you are suffering. I spent years also wanting a pill to take to stop feeling overly emotional. I’m ok with it now. It’s me and I can’t stop being me. A few blogs ago I wrote about living authenticly, easier said than done, this I know. But I’m trying!
    I’ve suffered since I was a child with depression and have come to terms with it. I’m fortunate I was able to learn coping mechanisms without medication. However, I’m a big believer in medicine and what it can do to stop suffering. I’m tired of people treating us like we are different. We are no different, we’re just more honest. Big hugs to you!

  • kennethfawalter
    October 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm 

    Lauren, what a sweet message to receive from you. I miss seeing you and sending our fun messages too!!! You are right, psychology and interior design are truly intertwined. This experience has taught me so much. The party was the tipping point, I had been truly unhappy for years before. The shame I carried was heavy and unbearable. I’m so much better now, I love a happy ending. I hope you and your beautiful family are well, xo

  • dawn papakyriacou
    October 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm 

    So well written and insightful! I’m sure this touches every reader somewhere , somehow. xo Dawn

    • kennethfawalter
      October 13, 2017 at 10:46 pm 

      Thank you Dawn, your comment means a lot to me, xo!

  • Corina
    October 10, 2017 at 6:13 am 

    Hi lovely man:) yes, it’s amazing how many people are ashamed to open up and admit they need help… most of them, try to “hide” their pain/problem and just decide to take a shot, drink, a hit of some shitty drug, or a pill and try to forget about the pain/problem they have … all they do, numbing them self for a moment… until they “wake up to reality” and they need to numb them self all over… I dealt with my ex husband, who was an addict, for many years… he “hid” from reality over and over again… sometimes he went to hell and he dragged me with him … and I always believed he will snap out of it … but he never did… as a depressed person you have to completely be ready and to WANT to change your life … to be so strong and don’t give up; don’t try to jump to an easy solution that will numb you and make you forget about your pain and problems … because this is a never ending solution … my advice: move from the place you were so unhappy in- you have to change the energy of your living place , surround yourself with positive people , try to be active, spend time outdoors, enjoy Mother Nature, keep your mind busy always, try to meditate … much love and good luck to all of us…especially to the ones needing help

    • kennethfawalter
      October 13, 2017 at 9:06 pm 

      Thanks for your comment Corina. All of what you said is so true! I’m sorry for what you endured. Unfortunately (we both know this already) life while beautiful can be complicated and quite messy. Thank goodness I am able to help myself, I actually do (and have done) many of the things you listed. I hope and pray I can help others to pay it forward. Thanks again for your comments. Peace & Love to you-

  • rovayart
    October 10, 2017 at 7:27 am 

    That collective human experience when sometimes we feel as if we are dancing with the internal demons… but we can and do overcome negative shadow play. We can clean the ‘Karmic’ slate of ancient resentments and reestablish a healthy relationship to the past. Got to flex that positive muscle in the brain to get the benefits. Easily said then done. Each one of us knows better then anyone the power to develop what is necessary and change what no longer applys.

    • kennethfawalter
      October 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm 

      Thanks so much for weighing in Rachel–so true, well said my dear friend. I hope all is well in your universe!!

  • David B.
    October 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm 

    “On and on you will hike,
    And I know you’ll hike far
    and face up to your problems
    whatever they are.
    You’ll get mixed up, of course,
    as you already know.
    You’ll get mixed up
    with many strange birds as you go.
    So be sure when you step.
    Step with care and great tact
    and remember that Life’s
    a Great Balancing Act.
    Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
    And never mix up your right foot with your left.
    And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will, indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
    “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” –Dr. Seuss
    Thank you for sharing, Ken. I commend this book (which was really written for adults). It was gifted to us by Dr. Seuss, who is now an angel.

    • kennethfawalter
      October 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm 

      OMG what a magnificent reply Dave! Thank you from the bottom of my heart my dear friend! Peace & Love to you always-

  • Pete Jakubowski
    October 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm 

    Thank you Kenneth for sharing this story and putting it out there for all to see. I’m so glad that you dealing well with it now. Kudos to you, my friend!

    • kennethfawalter
      October 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm 

      Thanks for writing this Peter, I’m very much appreciate of your support! Sending you all my best wishes always!!

  • kennethfawalter
    October 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm 

    Thank you for your comment Jim, I greatly appreciate it very much. I hope I can help others so they don’t feel alone. We are all here to help each other my dear friend! Peace & Love to you-

  • Lucy Marshall
    October 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm 

    Dearest Ken – I have just read your very poignant post – thank you. I agree – some of us feel things so very deeply and with intense emotion – and it can make life difficult in itself! I am inspired by not only how courageously you have tackled things yourself, but how openly you are sharing and giving so much to us all. I agree about the feelings of peace and tranquility that interiors provide and how they help to nurture us. But most of all I admire your honesty and commitment to being truly an authentic individual. Thank you for inspiring me to continue being compassionate and caring. It does make a difference. With my love, Lucy x

    • kennethfawalter
      November 1, 2017 at 2:17 am 

      Dear Lucy,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m a work in progress like all of us I suspect. For many years I wished I could stop feeling the things that I felt, to take away the intense feelings that were so deep inside me. I came to realize that this is part of me and I must accept myself. Perhaps by understanding myself better I found happiness comes from within. I hope I can help my friends, family, clients and anyone I meet along the way. I truly believe we are all here to help each other. Your comments touch me more than you know. Sending you peace and love always my dear friend, xo

  • Stephanie Helmink
    January 23, 2018 at 7:59 pm 

    What a brave post! I’m taking each day as a gift after seeing how Jim struggled. I do believe that your physical environment can greatly impact your mood and I’m trying to make some changes to do so. Especially lighting. I love my Deep huge back porch but it also makes my home feel dark even there are floor to ceiling Windows across the back.
    Sure wish you lived closer Ken. I have a feeling we would be good friends.
    Losing Jim was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through but I refuse to let it dictate how the rest of my adventure here goes. I know one widow who is a great example of how it’s hard but one has to remain engaged and positive. I know another that is completely negative and paralyzed. (Both write me on IG). I surround myself with positive people and also real people. They get it but also know that learning to live without your loved one isn’t a choice! It’s a must.
    So much more to say but I just want you to know how very much I appreciate you and all of your posts! If you are ever in Houston id love to have an IG meet !
    Take care of your sweet heart.
    Stephanie Helmink

    • kennethfawalter
      January 24, 2018 at 12:06 am 

      Thank you for your comment Steph! I agree that losing someone you love is devastating. However, the people who love us would never want us to stop living. This is so important to remember and many refuse to move forward. I know that time helps us heal a bit. I’m so glad we are connected and believe it or not I have clients in Texas. I hope we can meet one day. Sending you great big hugs!

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