THIS IS 2020: Anxiety, Covid and Racism - E001
This Is 2020: Anxiety, COVID, and Racism with Dia Darling
It's been one hell of a year, hasn't it? Anxiety, COVID, and racism have seized the world. We started out with the COVID pandemic. That's enough to cause anxiety in many people, whether they deal with the diagnosed mental illness daily or not. Then we moved on to blatant racism taking place in front of our eyes as the result of police brutality and shootings of African American men and women.
With the American elections just around the corner, we now can't help but recognize the importance of the monumental civil rights movements that build, resist, and scream for change. On this episode, we interview the amazing Dia Darling, founder of All The Things I Do. In this very first episode of What We're Not Talking About, I sit down with my friend and former industry expert/colleague to talk about the uncomfortable: racism.
Listen in today as we talk about how anxiety impacts us in this uncertain time and how we can manage it, how COVID is affecting mental health, and how we can all team up to fight against institutionalized racism.
TODAY'S GUEST: DIA DARLING
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
> What it looks like to manage your mental health during the COVID 19 pandemic (04:52)
> What it's like to be a black woman living in Texas during a time of anxiety, covid and racism and we can do to fight the institutionalized racism in our society (09:48)
> Dia's thoughts and feelings on the people getting called out for their poor behaviour in the coaching industry and other industry via social media (15:16)
> How powerful the simple exercise of crying can be when you're dealing with anxiety (24:50)
E001: This is 2020: Anxiety, Covid and Racism with Dia Darling
Amy: [00:01:41] Hello, and welcome back to What We're Not Talking About. Today's guest is Dia Darling. How ya doing?
Dia: [00:01:48] I’m good. I’m excited to be here!
Amy: [00:01:50] I'm super excited to chat with you. This is the third podcast we've been on together. One was for your podcast, one was for my old podcast, and now we're in the second one.
So, I'm super excited to have you with me to jam on all the fun things, not just anxiety, COVID, and racism. But for everyone that probably doesn't know who you are, or maybe they do, and that's why they're here, but why don't you give a little introduction to who you are? What you're about?
Dia: [00:02:20] I am a Dia Darling and she said, I’m a Texas-based, born and bred, project manager and CEO coach.
So I basically just help people who have that school, like, get a little bit more focused and figure out like what we're doing, what the steps are, and turn those ideas into reality.
Amy: [00:02:38] Amazing! And how long have you been doing that for?
Dia: [00:02:43] Let's see, the origin story, everything started about five years ago, but focus has been about three years.
Amy: [00:02:51] How's it going? I mean, we haven't really talked about business stuff for so long. So tell me, tell me some stuff, some of what's going on.
Dia: [00:02:58] It's going pretty well, obviously these are crazy times and there was a little bit of...
Amy: [00:03:01] That’s right!
Dia: [00:03:04] A period of “Wait everyone's freaking out”, but luckily it was short and I felt like I had been preparing for this for the past two years, because I already worked from home.
Amy: [00:03:14] That’s true!
Dia: [00:03:15] So I was able to bounce back from the, you know, what's happening in the world pretty quickly. But yeah, it's been busy. There's been a lot of pivots because part of what I do for some clients is, you know, manage the projects and a lot of events. So it’s been a lot of “Oh, okay, we can't have 500 people in a room. How are we going to do this online?” In last minute switches. And it has been foreign to me because I am obviously having anxiety. And so I like to be proactive, so it's been a lot of reactive. That’s been a trip.
Amy: [00:03:53] That's all we can ask for, right? Together in almost a full piece, you know, that's good. I'm glad. It's been a year of anxiety, COVID, and racism.
Yeah. COVID is insane. So COVID was actually the catalyst for me to finally quit my job, like fully. I just was like, “You know what? The world is giving me what I wanted, so let's do it.” So I jumped on that.
Yeah. COVID is actually, like, it's been really interesting to see that, and we're not going to talk too much about COVID because, but a lot of what you just said about work from home for a while, and you've been having to deal with kind of the adjustments that regular normal people jobs have had to just recently gone through.
So that's really awesome. And I remember where we went, it was just beginning. That was always in the back of my head.
I was like, I'm not going to have to battle the isolation thing.
So I've already done that. I’m not going to have to battle time management, I mean, arguably a battle that every day.
How has it, or has it, changed at all for you when it comes to your anxiety? Like, is it harder to manage because maybe certain coping mechanisms are available to you? I mean the world's anxiety, COVID, and racism hasn't helped.
Dia: [00:05:01] It's been a little, like... I do better in a silo, but at the same time, I'm still human. I'm very much an extroverted introvert so I can people and keep the best of them. But then I need me time.
The lack of people, when this all started, I was actually scheduled to have two surgeries and they both, one of them got pushed and the other was a dental surgery. I realized about a month later, that was the only time that I touched another human, because I live alone, not dating anyone, my family is three hours away. And literally I was like, yeah, when the dentist has seen in my mouth, but I was unconscious.
And then also I have a lot of friends - not a lot… oh actually a lot! A bunch were pregnant - who have babies the past few months. You want to go and meet them and I'm able to meet my best friend's baby, but it's, you just feel a little bit detached. And I was fine. I was fine.I was fine until I was like, “Holy crap. I am feeling depressed.” It really wasn't until last week that I came out of this really low feeling, because there's so much going on in the world.
And I had originally planned in February - no not February, March - to go see my family. And I didn't because a big part of that for me is seeing my grandpa and he's BD.
And I was like, I don't even want to risk it, so I didn't go. And then I finally went at the end of May and it was just so nice to be around people and touch people.
But then I came back and it was so very much like, “okay, how long is this gonna last?” So, it's been, it's been a struggle. I mean, there's just so much going on right now. And then also like I'm in Texas, so it's a million and a half degrees, and a big thing for me, even before COVID started was when I was feeling really anxious, I would like to go on walks and just clear my head, get me away from my computer, my house, just, and now it's like... I went out the other day and I was like, “it’s just way too global warming out there. I'm not going to walk.” Literally was dressed to go off and turned around and came right back in.
So I think that the fact that, and then also with my therapist. She moved last year. So we've been doing virtual sessions for a year. So I still have that, I still was able to get my medications, and I still can dance it out and have dance parties here when I'm feeling anxious. I still can get alcohol delivered. So it's, it comes in waves, but it's not as bad as it could be. Thankfully we have the technology.
Amy: [00:07:31] Yes. I always wonder about that. I was like, if we didn't have a computer or TV, It would be way worse. I mean, also I could just not imagine the world without a computer or a TV right now.
I'm just going to ask it. Anxiety, COVID, and Racism. How has it affected you?
And if you don't want to talk about it, just let me know. But like how’s situation in Texas right now? I feel like it would be, I'm going to, I'm going to square guys, fucking nuts. You've got COVID outbreak, massive, like, racism issues, and then all the other crazy stuff. And then you have a hundred degrees.
Dia: [00:08:06] That's what I was so glad it rained today and now the sun's already coming back. It was like, Oh, that was a nice couple of hours of weather. Obviously the thing with COVID, some people pay attention and some don’t. When I say that I am a recluse and I’ve been preparing for this, I was already getting my groceries delivered. Like so much!
Then I also do see a lot of laxness around it. Like people just don't seem to care. A few times I have gone places, people are usually good about wearing their mask and a lot of businesses is closed. So that hasn't been that bad.
Then on the racial front, I'm in the South.
So it's always an undertone. I did actually go on a walk yesterday. Luckily I guess it was praying for the rain. But if you think about these things, it's constant already, constantly in my mind anyway, but I'm thinking like, “A car slowed down,” and I was thinking like I had fear. And it's like, I should be able to walk around my apartment complex without thinking someone's going to hurt me or yell something at me.
It's constant fear.
It's this way. Not doing anything. Like if I have to get my phone out of my pocket or something, when I'm walking, I try to do it as fast as possible. So, if anyone's looking, they can see, I don't have anything, skin color is not a weapon, so it's... It's hard.
And I think that I have been fortunate enough that since I am so much in my own little bubble, but I don't go out and it's also kind of made me not want to go out. Granted, I'm not going to bars and stuff right now, but it's even running to the store is something other than a drive there or something… I don't want to do it right now. Cause it's scary.
And with people in different parts of Texas. I was on Facebook earlier and she was talking about how she saw some people being really horrible, yelling racist things at this guy who was jogging and it's scary. And I think about it every time I do leave my apartment.
Dia: [00:010:15] I mean, honestly, it doesn't even matter if I'm in my apartment, on the top floor, but you think about like the lady that shot in her own apartment
It's... I can’t even put it into words. I think it's wonderful that it's finally becoming an issue or not. It is an issue, but it's finally getting the attention that it deserves. So many people are stepping up. It's disgusting saying how some people are responding and why it's making so many people angry that people want to save lives.
Just some of the stuff that I've seen and it's been kind of like...
It's not my platform, as far as it's not what I talk about.
But I did feel like I wanted to make a statement about it because it is something that's in my heart and I'm not like, “Oh, I need to blow up a, all. I need to be authentic.”
But I'm kind of an asshole. I say, what's on my mind. So I was like, this is who I am. I can talk to you guys on my Instagram stories at 3:00 AM about whatever, so why wouldn't I speak up about, yeah. I wish I did prepare a statement, like, yeah, it's, it's scary. Here you never know and that’s what sucks because, you are. There was already that undertone.
I walked past a older white man yesterday as well, and I smiled, but you never know. Even before instead it was like, he's going to smile back or he's going to be racist. And that sounds horrible. And, but it is the way that it is because there have been times where you are just living your life and trying to be polite because it's Texas, we smile. We say, bless you. And people will say something racist or. Look at you like your disgusting. How do you do that? I've had a, got, pulled a gun on me in front of my own apartment.
Amy: [00:12:11] ‘m almost going to cry too, if it makes you feel better. I asked the question, and I'm like, I'm going to just cry. It's going to happen. All this anxiety, COVID, and racism in the world and how scary it is.
Dia: [00:12:18] It sucks cause I think we talked about it right after, just about how George Floyd died, I'm already in this world. And especially for me, because when we talked, I was with my family. I was like, I need, I needed that.
Like even outside of what was going on, I needed that time with my family and I needed to pass on happiness and joy and connection.
When I step out of that and I'm on social media, looking at a news article, or something, it’s amplified so much that I want to be informed. I want to do my part, but I have to gauge it - obviously we’ve talked about it in the past - because I will shut down. I have to protect myself because I will shut down. I know how I am and I have too many things that I want to do.
So many people who have fought for me as a person of color, as a woman, that while the battle isn't over, I still have to move forward. I think that that was such a touchy subject for a lot of business owners. How do I engage that? And it's like, trust your gut. Yes, you can still advertise your business.
People are still living. It's not like the only thing in your world right now, but if it feels gross, then it probably is. And you shouldn't do it. Absolutely. Yeah, very long winded answer.
Amy: [00:13:50] How do I, how do you answer that? Like I asked you the most impossible question. So, I think you did a great job, but yeah, I think that's it. I liked that you brought up the whole idea of the advertising and stuff, because for me, I'm not right now, I'm not running anything.
So I just shut everything down before the world was taken over with anxiety, COVID, and racism took over the world again.
I think I posted that my father, it was my dad's six months death anniversary. So I posted that, you know, Just say like, bye, I love you kind of thing, but it's really, as you said. Like, are you okay with it?
Would you feel comfortable if it was a situation in which you were being advocated for?
You know what I mean? If you have a disability, it's a disability awareness thing, and they've treated you horribly, would you do that? People get so frustrated, I get so angry.
My degree, what I went to university for, was human rights and political science. So my entire degree is learning about how governments turn on their own people. It drives me crazy. It drives me insane. It's also very scary because I see what is happening now is like what has happened in all the stuff that we read in textbooks that we don't think happens anymore and it's getting worse.
Not to go super dark right now, but I will get into the political tangent and I will not be able to pull it back.
Back to the idea of “do what feels good for you.” And I will say one thing though, and I'd love to know your feelings. How do you feel about all these people that are getting called out in the coaching industry? Cause we met each other in the coaching industry. Some people are ignoring the world's anxiety, COVID, and racism that is so rampant.
Dia: [00:15:22] It's I think it's complicated because there are some people who I think literally that are trying to do better and they did something.
I'll not name drop. I don't think that she was doing that with ill-intent. From the whole way that since I followed her, it's always seemed like she's about impassivity. And I've discovered African-American business women through watching her show and stuff. I think it was ill-advised and she wrecked it when she realized she did it.
Now there's other people who… I’ve unfollowed some people. If you post all lives matter, I'm probably going to unfollow you.
I think it needs to be called out.
I also think that there has to be a chance for that person to do better. In some cases, if you just straight up say some racist shit, then you're canceled. But if you handle something or a wrong way or do something and then you're educated and you make a change then okay. Because we're all evolving. We're all growing. But if you just stand your ground, okay, fine. That's your platform, but I don't have to follow it.
I think it's a good thing it's being pulled out. But I think that we have to gauge before we can see the cancels on people.
Amy: [00:16:16] Yeah. I get it. A lot of people are really angry, as they should be of all different varieties of people. Well, some people should, people that are racist. My point is on the other side. I get it. But for me, it's how the whole point is that we're trying, I'm going to be very hippy with him trying to turn evil into good.
Do you know what I mean? We're supposed to be trying to alchemize it, we're trying to take all that negativity and turn it into something beautiful and supportive of a happy collective life. So those mistakes, if they are willing to admit, this is my very humble opinion. And we can do the same with how we're handling anxiety, COVID, and racism.
If they're willing to admit they made a mistake and it's genuine, obviously there's performance, but if it’s genuine, that's how you learn, make a mistake, you integrate it, and then you hopefully don't make that mistake again. And like, for me, some of them I've unfollowed way before this happened. Cause I was like, it's very obvious.
And I've also seen coaches that are like, white women that are reviewing other white women for their racist actions.
I'd appreciate it. I think it's good, but I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. Call them out, but, I don’t know.
Dia: [00:18:21] It’s a touchy... There's a lot of like gray area there. Because obviously, it's like, you can't speak on something that you don't understand, to a certain point, but then also sometimes it takes a white person saying it for them to hear it. Which is fucked up and kind of what we're trying to fight. Yeah. I love what's happening. As far as the calling out in just a general sense.
Like one of the posts that I I saw was some of your Black friends, first experience with racism was when you told them they're not a regular black person or they're a white black girl in the South. I've gotten that a lot, my whole life. And it's so offensive because not only are you saying, okay, you, you sound intelligent, not really black.
What does that say about other black people? So stop saying that shit, but I think people are way more open and I've had a few friends who've reached out to me and said, “Hey, like if I've ever done this, or I know that I may be part of the problem. Please free to call me, call me out.” That's the problem because it's so in our system and it's so embedded the things that people say do, they don't even realize that it's not okay. And that's why we, that's what we have to have these conversations.
Amy: [00:19:43] Yeah, absolutely. Again, sometimes I'm like, this is (inaudible) And then, and then I remember like, (inaudible). Anxiety, COVID, and racism especially need to be talked about.
Dia: [00:19:56] And thank you for coming to my TEDtalk. You’re welcome.
Amy: [00:20:03] One thing I will say is like, I don't know, do you TikTok? I know that's not the actual word.
Dia: [00:20:11] I don’t actually TikTik. My sister is on TikTok all the time to watch, but I don't actually have a TikTok. I don't know why. I like them but I don’t know that I want to make them.
Amy: [00:20:19] And that's fair. I feel like I'm a Gen Z now. I feel like I've been adopted because I'm so obsessed with it. But the one thing that is surprising me because everyone makes fun of Gen Z because they're all like, Oh, they can't order sauce and all this stuff, but they're like literally throwing their bodies on top of people and cops and stuff.
And it’s and I'm just so proud of them. I'm like at that age, when I was full of anxiety, I wouldn't have done that. Like if I wasn't full of anxiety I would, but I can't. I just want to hug all of them. You know what I mean?
Dia: [00:20:58] We’re doing right. I do. I think it's a generational thing. Each generation, typically, this is not the case across the board, but each generation has a little, has a little bit more fire power or for them, this is the norm. This is the normal.
This is how things should be for us. But it's not. Then when you go further, it's like, Oh, that's the drain. So, I think they're even more... They've grown up with even technology that we didn't have when we were their age and stuff like that. So hopefully it will just keep getting better. I think that's what we thought in 1960.
Amy: [00:21:39] I'm really holding onto the fact that we all have phones that can video this stuff.
That is what it’s actually saving, not only lives, but the misinformation. On TikTok especially, there's so many posts. For example, there'll be a minute long video and someone will post a screenshot of an article and start explaining it and basically teach people about stuff in a minute, which is so cool.
Then you'll go to look that article up. And it's been fact checked by Snopes, which is arguably a real thing. You don't know, but... It's so fascinating to see how this is working.So you can learn about mental health, anxiety, COVID, or racism there, even.
It's asked, it's also like psychological warfare which is also (inaudible).
I’m up here in Canada being like, I mean, we're not great. I'm not saying, but like from a... Is my country run by Donald Trump? So I'm a little salty.
Dia: [00:22:36] We're gonna come up there anyway when we completely screw global warming. We're going to have to come up there. Texas is going to be way too hot.
Amy: [00:22:49] Oh, my gosh. Could you imagine I'm waiting for the aliens to touchdown or the asteroid fires to hit? Both of those are awesome.
Dia: [00:22:56] Aliens are supposed to be in July,
Amy: [00:22:58] July, okay. What's in August?
Dia: [00:23:00] Oh, I don’t know what’s in August.
Amy: [00:22:58] I, I joke. And this is like a dark, kind of a dark joke, but my dad died in December. So right before everything happened and he died of a heart attack. Well, you actually turned out to be quite sick, but just never told me, so it was expected, but I didn't know it was expected. But I always tell people.
I'm like, “How many times would he have died once all this stuff [started happening]?”
Knowing about about all this stuff, he probably would've died like six times. Every time that he opened the news, he would have had a heart attack. He would have seen the news on anxiety, COVID, and racism and wouldn't have dealt with it. Like, his anxiety would have skyrocketed at the world's anxiety, COVID, and racism and he would have died.
I know that’s really messed up, sorry. I'm actually really good and I've grieved and gone through everything. And, I mean, you're laughing. So you're getting that.
Dia: [00:24:00] Right now you have to kind of laugh and stop crying.
Amy: [00:24:05] Absolutely. I've had a lot of days where like yesterday I've been dealing with some health issues. I was in bed all day yesterday and I was super sick. And then I just started crying for an hour and then I got up and I was fine.
It's funny how, I mean, I'm also super into the crazy astrology cosmos stuff. Weird stuff is happening right now. So I recognize that as well, but yeah. It's probably not helping the world's anxiety, COVID, and racism.
Dia: [00:24:33] Well Mercury's in retrograde in Cancer or something like that.
Amy: [00:24:38] Oh, you're a cancer too. Yeah, that does make it a little bit more flowy.
Dia: [00:24:45] And I think there has been a bit of too angry to cry and it's like the tears and the prayers. Like, okay. But sometimes you just need to let it out. Even, not just about stuff that's going on, but in general crying can be so healing. So when we laugh in here.
Amy: [00:25:06] Yeah, absolutely, now I have a question. Cause you have anxiety.
Do you, as someone who identifies as an anxious person, have trouble crying?
Cause I used to, like a lot.
Dia: [00:25:18] I don't, I have trouble crying in front of people
Amy: [00:25:21] Okay when it's just you you're okay.
Dia: [00:25:23] Oh, yeah. When it's just me. I mean, the thing is though, too, it's hard to stop. Like once I opened that facet, a lot of times it’s just like... like there was one day and I don't even remember what it was that triggered it.
And I think it, honestly, I think it, I needed to and itself was building up and then I was watching something sad. And that, let me open the door to it. And I was just sobbing so hard my eyes hurt. And I knew my neighbors are like, what is wrong with this chick?
Amy: [00:25:59] I forced myself to watch the happy, sad stuff. So I'm like, these are so cute and I'll cry, but I'll be sad, but I'll be looking at happy stuff it probably messes with my psychology. Oh well.
Dia: [00:26:12] We’re all mad here.
Amy: [00:26:14] That’s actually true. I was talking, I had another interview earlier today with a man and he is a, he's a black man. That's in North Carolina and he is a mental health advocate. And that's why I was drawn to him because he was openly talking about his mental health struggles only realizes he's actually like a narcissist and openly talks about being a narcissist
Dia: [00:26:39] Woah!
Amy: [00:26:40] It’s crazy. It was the coolest conversation. It was like so much the whole point of this conversation.
He was talking about how he also needed to have I would say catharsis to cry in order to really release. Not only sad stuff, but he had a lot of anger, which is in psychology, like a secondary emotion, which normally hides sadness.
So it's all very interesting. I do. I'm not in the crime. God, sorry. I'm all over the place.
Dia: [00:27:15] I get what you're saying. And that for me has been really huge in dealing with my anxiety is stopping the religious, feel it, figure out what it is because a lot of times, I'll be irritated at someone or annoyed about something or just totally anxious.
Okay. Why am I feeling this way? Like, what triggered it and stop and address the problem. For me, especially in the past weeks, I've been having really bad panic attacks out of nowhere. And when I was talking to my therapist about it actually last week, she said, you know, a lot of times people with anxiety, when they're go, go, go, they're fine.
But when they stop and everything catches up with them, that's when it hits. And it would be like I would be done for the day. I'd be watching TV and I would just not be able to breathe. And so for me, it's been really having to sit with it and then also do something. That's why I wanted to walk last night.
That's why I randomly dance. And I'm trying to find coping skills besides, you know, alcohol. So yeah.
Amy: [00:28:19] And I, I used to be there too.
And then I found out I was allergic to alcohol.
I was like, Oh, well, that’s convenient! Yeah, I’m allergic to alcohol. I mean, the positive thing is marijuana is illegal or is legal in Canada. So I do have it on hand, but yeah. Yeah. It's not fun. I will, I don't recommend it. If you can avoid being allergic to alcohol.
Dia: [00:28:40] I have a friend. I have a friend who she's actually, we pledged together, and she's, she's actually allergic to alcohol too. But for her it's more like it's fine until she's around a bunch of drunk people. And then it's like, Oh...
Amy: [00:28:55] Yeah. Oh yeah, that's horrible. That's a whole other level. I’ve been there. My mom, like she's retired and she's just living her best life and she just drinks, you know, two beers, three beers throughout the day. So she's always a little tipsy. She's one of those sassy tipsy people.
Awesome, well, thank you so much, Dia, for chatting with me. Thank you for having the conversation with me on anxiety, COVID, and racism. I love having conversations with you.
Dia: [00:29:21] Me too!
Amy: [00:29:24] You’re like, yeah I know. Don’t worry about it.
Dia: [00:27:07] I was told that now as a black woman, I need to step into my power and own it, so yeah.
Amy: [00:29:35] Yes, I love that. Well, I mean you should. It’s just you should, you know?
Dia: [00:29:39] This was great and I knew it was going to be great. Cause we always had such a good time when we talk.
Hopefully I didn’t add too much stress for anyone listening or.
Maybe I opened their eyes or made them stop calling their Black friend their White-Black friend.
Amy: [00:28:55] Yeah. I mean, I think these are the conversations that are like, I didn't find this uncomfortable, but for other people, if they're listening, this could be a super uncomfortable. But like, if you are actually dedicated to just being a better human being, listening to this podcast is the start, you know?
If you're open to learning about anything, really, I wasn't even intending on this to be our conversation today, but it just went that way, you know? And it's just like, we're so as a human race are so prideful, we just cannot admit that we were wrong because how much else will we be wrong about if we say it's one thing, you know, and that, I don't know why, but people just can't deal with that.
You can see so many people who can't see they are wrong about anxiety, COVID, and racism in the current reality.
Dia: [00:30:40] Yeah, all of that. I was going to try to add to it, but honestly, that's the best way to say it. Like, it's okay to be, like that's how you learn. Like you said that earlier, like that is how you learn. You have to fuck up some time to get it right.
And just because you were wrong once doesn't mean you're going to be wrong about everything.
And it doesn't mean that there's not one place you’re not right.
Amy: [00:31:05] I love it. I want to, I'm going to edit this and there's going to be so many sighs on both ends. Like I was sighing when you were talking, but not at you, but like what you were saying, the situation, but yeah. Thank you so much as always. I love you. You're great. This conversation on anxiety, COVID, and racism has been so amazing.
Dia: [00:31:22] I love you too.
Amy: [00:29:52] You did make me cry, but so. I’m crying again!
Dia: [00:31:27] I made myself laugh, so I didn't cry.
Amy: [00:31:30] Well, you made me cry, so thank you. Those empaths, You know? Or just maybe we're human beings
Dia: [00:31:40] Not everyone does that.
Amy: [00:30:04] Awesome. Well, thank you so much. You are awesome. I love you.