We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace Writes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
S.C. Lourie wonderfully wrote, “Let your heart breathe, sweet soul. Breathe deep until you remember life’s beauty again. Breathe as much as you need to until you remember your own beauty again. Take as much time as you need. The world can wait.” When I reflect on this quote, it reminds me that it’s okay not to be okay because I am human. Though I carry many roles, I have to care for myself by prioritizing my needs with the same level of care and attention that I attend to others’ needs.
For this reason, no, I’m not always happy. There are times where life knocks me down, and in those moments of pain, despair, and anguish, it’s perfectly okay for me to unplug, breathe, and take up space for myself to refuel until I get back to that place of equilibrium.
I have battled with depression and anxiety for quite some time, and I have learned that breathing techniques have been a part of my wellness toolkit, and breathing is a reminder of life. If I am still breathing, it means I still have a pulse. If I still have a pulse, it means that God still has a plan for my life, and what I am presently experiencing is only a moment that I will get through.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a licensed mental health professional, advocate, and author, I believe healing is holistic, mind, body, and soul, for us to be well. I advocate for therapy because we all need a place, a safe place, that we can take off our mask and breathe. Many are carrying a lot of hurt and pain, believing that talking is a sign of weakness, but I think when you reach out your hand for help, that’s strength!
I wrote my first book, Breathe: Rest, Reflect, Reset,” as a guide to anyone struggling with mental health, grief, loss, or pain. I detail my struggle with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts, and I shared how therapy and my faith saved my life. I want others to know that it’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to express yourself because you are not alone. I am most proud of my journey, how God carried me through, and now sharing my story and professional help to assist others in their healing journey. Writing a book was not easy, especially a memoir. I had to relive many painful events, but what kept me writing is knowing that many have experienced the same ordeals as me and are suffering in silence.
Maya Angelou beautifully wrote,” “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.” That’s the journey I am now embarking on, and I am ready. I want to see people overcome and be victorious. I like the world to know about my story because mental health is important. Many are suffering in silence behind the battles their fighting privately, and if just one life is saved, if one person goes to therapy, if one person decides I will put myself first, to be well, then my work is not in vain.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am from Maryland, outside of Washington. D.C. If my best friend were in town visiting for a week, we would hit up a few brunch spots. I would take my friend to a Busboys & Poets, Miss Shirley’s, D.C. Harvest, or Po Boy Jim’s Bar and Grill. I would take them down to the National Harbor and Baltimore Harbor.
We will hit up some restaurants on H Street and off of 14TH Street in D.C. There are also some incredible art museums in D.C., one being ARTECHOUSE DC. If there are down for site seeing, we will go down to the National Mall visiting the MLK memorial, White House, Lincoln Memorial, and a few other historical monuments in the area. We could also ride bikes down at the Mall while overlooking the Potomac River. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I firmly believe it takes a village and a community of support for each of us to advance in life. I have to thank my family, friends, and those who have sent their love, prayers, and encouragement through my personal and private battles and loving me loudly in my triumph, victory, and accomplishments. I love you all deeply!
Jacob Webster, JPWPhoto, LLC