From Cyan James:

You know that moment when you realize things maybe aren’t really OK? That you, or someone you really care about, is struggling? And you don’t know what to do. But somehow you keep going.

Let’s not pretend it easy. But let’s talk about how amazing that is—we somehow find the little moments to keep us going, and maybe it’s not completely OK, but it’s more OK, and we go on…

Please join us for an evening of stories about those moments. We’ll have a featured group of seasoned storytellers go first, and then will be the open mic when it could be your turn on stage.

We’re looking for your true stories five minutes or under, practiced ahead of time or told in the moment. If this isn’t your night to tell a story, join the rest of us in listening and in helping scrub away some of that toxic stigma that surrounds talking about the tougher times. We can’t wait to see you there.

7pm, Friday, October 24
Roy St. Coffee And Tea | 700 Broadway E., Seattle, WA

For more information, contact Cyan James at

Once in the middle of a Michigan winter I thought I couldn’t be any colder. Or more depressed. The heat had turned off, I’d lost a job I cared about, I couldn’t find a therapist, my best friend had moved out, and I didn’t know what was coming next. I put on the whole works: boots, double layers of stockings, my biggest coat, mittens, scarf, hat. For an hour I walked around the ice-glazed streets and watched the little plays unfolded in the bright windows of all the other houses.

I watched an old man slowly get up from his kitchen table. Steam rolled upwards from the spout of his kettle, and I imagined the kettle was gently shrieking. He poured himself a mug of tea—apple spice, I imagined. He cupped his hands around his mug and leaned his face over it. He drank slowly, staring off at the wall, and we were both alone, but he didn’t seem lonely. Watching him, I didn’t feel so alone either. I was still going to be depressed for a long time. It wasn’t a moment that changed everything. But it was a moment of relief and beauty I needed.

What moments have gotten you through during those wrenching times? Maybe you’ve wrestled with cold, heavy depression, too. Maybe you hear things no one else does, or you can’t see those ways you matter, or you just can’t turn off all the whirling, exhausting thoughts. But you kept going. You’re still going. Tell us how you did it. Or join us and listen to how other people did. You never know how much a stranger can help!

For this special storytelling showcase and open mic on mental health, we’re looking for ways you felt really challenged. What did you do? What helped you out? What do you wish others had known about you during that time?
We’re looking for true, personal stories that still mean something to you days, months or years later. I hope to see you at our next show on Friday, October 24, 7:00pm at the Roy St Cafe.

I’m representing an organization called Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS). We’re partnering with Paul Currington’s Fresh Ground Stories to hold this special event showcasing mental strength.

Rules & Guidelines:

Cyan, Paul, Eva, and the rest of us at ELISS and Fresh Ground Stories

Image by Daren Newman