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I normally don’t cry over celebrity deaths, but yesterday when I heard that Kate Spade died by suicide in her New York apartment, I felt an overwhelming flood of sadness fill my body.

Just several months prior, I had listened to Kate and her husband Andy talk about how they built the iconic Kate Spade brand together on Guy Roz’s “How I Built This” podcast. Hearing them was so relatable because it reminded me of how Sam and I also met in college and how we also started off our business by designing bags – yoga bags in our case. How they melded career and love (not easy!) gave me so much excitement for all the things Sam and I hope to one day experience.

So, yesterday as I was getting ready to shoot some workout videos, I got a text from Sam saying “OMG. Kate Spade is dead. By suicide.” I stopped everything I was doing. I was shocked. Wait…didn’t she have a successful business, all the money she could ever need, and a happy family? When Sam came to see me, we both looked at each other like we lost someone we knew.

But the truth is…we don’t know Kate. Or Andy. Or the real situation behind the curtains. All we saw was their “success” and “happiness”. To hear that she was so hopeless – this incredibly iconic entrepreneur whose success story inspired women all over the world – that EVEN SHE could not escape the hands of depression and ultimately, suicide, it woke me up. There is no discrimination when it comes to depression.

To be completely honest with you, there have been days where I’ve laid in bed crying – the can’t breathe kind of crying, feeling like a failure, feeling like I’ve screwed up so bad, feeling like this messed-up somebody that I normally am not. But I am lucky. Because I have people like Sam and my sister Jackelyn in my life to help pull me out of that state of mind and bring me back to my normal self.

For those who do not have a healthy circle of friends or family to talk to, please please please, know that there are outlets for you. You can call this number as a place to start 1-800-273-8255, it’s the national suicide prevention hotline. Know that your feelings are temporary and you can and will get over this.

R.I.P. Kate Spade. Thank you for the beautiful things you’ve created and for inspiring me as a creative and visionary female entrepreneur.

 

The Conversation (22)

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  • Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. You are an inspiration to me and I struggle with depression and sometimes living life is hard. I am so hard on myself and I don’t let myself be proud of things that I definitely should be proud of. I have definitely considered suicide and I am so glad I haven’t but I wish there was some way to reach out to people who don’t have as amazing of a support system as I do. Love you so much and thank you for posting this.

  • Cindy Duck says:

    Thx for those honest and very true comments. Depressions is NO joke! on a side note…do you not do yoga bags anymore? I don’t see them on your site…only mats. (which are beautiful by the way!) And if you don’t do them anymore, would you please start again?!! Its very hard to find good yoga bags anywhere!

  • Deep says:

    Loose Your weight With #Wellnesshealthcare in very effective manner

  • diannaxnicole says:

    Thank you for your words. I am a mental health professional and hearing people like you, who inspire us so much and push us to be the best version of ourselves, speak out about mental illness and say that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, is so helpful and REAL. Thank you for being so transparent, strong-willed and overall AMAZING. My sister has been following your blog and fitness endeavors for years now & I have only just begun to recently but I am in awe and love with you and everything you do! Thank you so much for being a strong, powerful role model for young women– like my sister & myself. You have truly changed her life and how she feels about her body/ herself as a whole. In conclusion, thank you for being YOU.

  • Sara says:

    Thank you for your words… I rarely comment in websites but your words really make me feel something… Thank you

  • Patti Juarez says:

    As a mental health professional, I know that many times just talking to Friends, boyfriend, or husband is not enough. For those that have endogenous depression or chemical in balance, medications are what makes the difference toward recovery. Nevertheless, it was great that you posted this and encourage people to reach out to others. Good work!

  • Iness says:

    Thank you Cassey

  • Name says:

    Wow, I have goose bumps (literally!) You inspire me not to get thinner, but to get healthier, stronger and more confident. Thank you!

  • Brenda Lee Allor says:

    True happiness is not in the stuff we have. It only brings short term happiness. Faith and love are the source of true happiness!

  • Depression is a real thing and it is a crippling ailment. Depression does not indeed discriminate but one of the best ways to combat and cope with depression is to seek professional help or if you know someone who has depression, you have to convince them.

  • Aurora Morrison says:

    I was hospitalized for 5 days for the third time in the last 4 years. When i was in there, I did my 100 squat challenge and did any exercises I could remember to keep myself motivated and activated! You are such an inspiration to me and I love what you do!

  • Adam says:

    Stumbled across this post and just wanted to say that everyone is dealing with their own demons. You are VERY lucky to have a support group, and even more so, that you listen and let them in. The other shocker was Anthony Bourdain… from the outside, it was a charmed life. Traveling, meeting new people, haven’t crazy experiences all on the network dime… but he too had some darkness pulling at him. Be nice to everyone. Help raise everyone up. In turn, it will raise you up. Smile more. Be grateful for the little things. Take notice of the happy moments and use them as ammo to fight the sad ones. Love yourself. Think Massive!

  • Kate Cashen says:

    Cassey, I am a high schooler, and I just wanted to let you know that I am so inspired by you. As you admired Kate Spade, I admire you, and I enjoy it so much when I see your bright, satisfied smile on YouTube. You got me into the fitness lifestyle and I encourage you to please not let depression sink in and keep doing what you are doing! You are so strong, confident, and influential. I am a fan of quotes and this is one of my favorites: Why wish upon the stars when you can pray to the One who made them. I hope you have a great day and know that you are very deeply appreciated!

  • Monika says:

    I have the same thoughts when Jonghyun from SHINee has died by suicide. I was totally shocked and kept thinking: “Why? He has fantastic friends in SHINee members, he just has released solo album, so – WHY?”. He left a letter and then it was founded, that he has suffered from depression. Depression is still taboo i South Corea, so he didn’t receive right treatment. I keep praying every single day for him – I believe that he is in Heaven now. We see only lights in life in fame, but it has also many shadows…

  • I’d like to offer my listening ear to anyone who needs it…ive gone through periods of depression and anxiety and recently lost my job, my education, and just got diagnosed with major depressive disorder.. I can see where my compulsive food habits come from–trying to fill am empty void.

    If anyone knows sadness it’s me; and never hesitate to reach out.

    • Jonalynn says:

      I was never diagnosed but I KNOW I suffered from extreme depression as a child and I felt like I had no one I could turn to for literally years. I’m kind of amazed I am still here today after that because things did feel so hopeless. I felt like my family didn’t really understand and just got tired of dealing with me because they were poor and stressed people and I had a sibling who needed things and attention too. They made up a nickname for me that they would call me all the time “the grumpy old man.” It was sort of a joke but also their way of saying cut out all this crap you’re acting like. I was extremely miserable and angry and in physical pain all the time which added to all the other stuff. I tell this story because I want people to know that whatever they may be going through not to give up on life even when it seems like life its self has written you off.

    • Kate Cashen says:

      Why wish upon a star when you can pray to the One who made them.

    • Thank you for your openness Linda, and transparency about your own struggles. I can definitely relate to trying to fill the void. I know some of you may tune me out when I say this, but honestly the only fulfillment to the empty void we all have is a relationship with our Creator God. The man Jesus came to earth to forgive us of all the wrong we’ve done and love us, truly love us perfectly. May this encourage y’all to remember that God loves you, and wants to forgive y’all and give you real, lasting joy and life. :) x0x0

  • Yes, I was shocked and saddened by the news of Kate Spade. But I guess you are right. Depression can be very real

  • Liz says:

    The title of your post really caught my eye and has just stuck with me. It’s something I hope more people realize and acknowledge because it is so true. Depression does not discriminate. Perhaps if it felt less taboo to people, more people would feel comfortable talking about it. Thank you so much for sharing your own moments of despair, because having you as an example of someone who, despite these moments, tries their hardest to keep going is so amazing and inspiring. Thank you!

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