Janesha Bull
“How Asking For Help Can Free You From Depression” — Watch HERE.
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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Janesha Bull for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Meet the Speakers: Janesha Bull for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

When I received the official invitation to speak at the 3rd annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen I was floored. Not to be dramatic but I had completely forgotten about applying six months prior but the email made my whole day, or may I say my whole month. Writing out my talk felt more like a breath of fresh air than a task. So many thoughts circled in my mind and the words more than anything spilled out of me. Seems as though each letter jumps off the page in anticipation to be heard. As I am in my last semester of school, my course load is heavy but my commitment to my talk always brightens me up.

I remember looking back at a small portion of my application that asked why I should be chosen as a speaker amongst many, and it said, “I am passionate about mental health and self improvement. I have no credentials or job titles. I am simply a young woman, who suffered from depression for the first three years of college and finally learned how to ask for HELP. I want to share my story, I want to remind someone, even if it’s just one person, that they’re not alone, and things can and WILL get better!!”

As I write and review my talk, I sat and thought about a time I had with my roommate, sophomore year where I opened up with her about some of the trials I had been facing. We sat and talked, and she cried with me, and now two years later I get to share my story. I cried then and I cry now because I am nothing but grateful for everything I have gone through, and for this amazing opportunity to share that it does in fact get better.


the TEDx process: Janesha Bull for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

It’s seven days into November, and I’m running on turning my fear into fuel. While I’ve been practicing my talk to death and can feel it and hear it in my dreams, the calendar turning a new month woke up everything in me and screamed, “IT’S GO TIME!” For years I dealt with anxiety, which caused me to stumble on my actions and run from my purpose, but this deal is non negotiable regardless of any fear that creeps up inside me and it feels, empowering! As I’ve written and rehearsed, I catch myself imagining being on the stage with an audience in front of me. I imagine the laughs and the serious faces that will fall on me as I deliver my heart on the stage. I’m so excited for this opportunity, November seems to be flying by but knowing that this month will be top with my TEDx talk makes everything so sweet.

It’s the morning of my very first mental health event and during the process of preparing I’ve been inspired yet fearful. I have a bad habit, like many others of running away when scared, or avoiding something all together. The other day I realized, avoidance only creates anxiety and preparation creates perfection and just like that I was all hands on deck. In the same manner, I am determined to make this TEDx talk the best I can, because I am constantly determined to be the best I can. I’ve always knew I had something important to say, I just always struggled with saying words out loud because I kept limiting myself to just being a, “writer.” So the month of November, I am getting out of my own way, and using the voice I own to make a difference, and it’s a hellofa feeling.


Reflecting: Janesha Bull for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

My last blog post… What an incredible challenging and rewarding experience this was. The night of rehearsal I couldn’t sleep, I stayed up all night trying to convince all the thoughts in my head to scram! But clearly, they didn’t think my serious voice was intimidating.

I didn’t know what to expect, I walked in the auditorium. Placed my things down and began to do what I always do, scan the room for a possible candidate to speak to, orrrr to make eye contact long enough so that they would come speak to me. I applied some lipgloss for the third time, trying to build up enough courage to go join the mass of shaking hands.

Then a woman came up to me, “Hi, I’m Susan.” we chatted, and then went to go grab some Starbucks. When I came back, we were already in session sharing about who we were. I sat, and watched as everyone went. “Wow, everyone is so old and accomplished,” I thought to myself. “and from California.” But through the sharing I felt warmer, in the midst of the extremely freezing temperatures, the sharing made everyone feel more normal and made me feel comfortable.

As we went into rehearsal and shared our stories, I couldn’t help but be completely attached to each one. It’s so amazing that you can never know what story someone will have by just looking at them. Rehearsal was long, and I was cold and tired, but I was so happy. I went home that night knowing everything would be okay the next day, and even if it didn’t go okay, I would still have 27 people clapping for me in the audience.

The next morning I woke up late. But I didn’t rush, I got myself together and arrived. I was excited, and anxious, and exhilarated. After a full long day, it was finally my turn to go get mic’d up. I was nervous, but knew I could do it. I stretched my arms in the air, like Jake had taught me the day before and just breathed. Before I knew it I was finishing my talk, and doing a little victory dance on stage with Ajit smiling at me.

I did it! I am so grateful for this journey and this opportunity. I’m so grateful for everyone I met from the speakers to the TEDxWilmington tribe, it’s been an extraordinary experience, and definitley just the beginning for me.

Watch Janesha Bull’s TEDx talk HERE.

TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018, Photograph by Alessandra Nicole

Janesha Bull is a Delaware native, and graduating senior at Delaware State University, majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising. Janesha’s personal mental health journey has inspired her to become an advocate for addressing the stigma around talking about mental health. She’s committed to ensuring everyone takes the time to talk about their own mental healthy journey so everyone gets the attention and care they deserve. After graduation, Janesha will continue her mission to raise awareness and change the stigma around mental health.  READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
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