FLINT, Michigan -- With a surge of political unrest, protest, and rallies calling for the end of police brutality against African American citizens, natural disasters, and now a global pandemic, mental health awareness has never been more crucial. For Jeneé “Royalty” Price, the timing couldn’t have been better to release her debut self-help book, The Process of Letting Go: 40 Days of Rediscovery and Healing.
Recounting the last several years of her life, Jeneé, or as she’s called now, Ms. Royalty boldly declares and chronicles her experience “with depression and how I overcame and claimed spiritual and emotional victory.” During her 40-day fast, Jeneé decided to put pen to paper and capture her most vulnerable moments to give back and fulfill, in her words, her “spiritual purpose.”
Amid book promotions, Jeneé sat down with Flintside to detail her journey through depression, spiritual enlightenment, and the lessons learned.
Flintside: You recently released a book: The Process of Letting Go: 40 Days of Rediscovery and Healing. It reminds me of the biblical story of Noah being on the ark. What inspired this title?
“I went through this long period of dealing with depression. I had got to the point where I had gotten out of it for the most part. Then life happens, and I felt like it was trying to come back over me. I did a 40-day fast, and it was this process of me being intentional about dealing with the root issues of how it started. If I could name and address what those issues were and how they came to be, I would fully overcome it. I started writing the book when I first got out of that deeper depression. I had difficult times finishing it, and after I did that 40-days, the rest of it came to me.”
Flintside: Although your name is Jeneé, you go by the name, Ms. Royalty. What led you to rename yourself?
“In the book, I explain my first name means ‘the one who God has answered.’ [During] my 40-days, there were moments where I felt not enough: As if I needed to be more equipped to do what I was called to do. That was that process of [God] explaining to me about being royalty. I needed to acknowledge and recognize that is what I am. I need to walk with confidence, grace, elegance but also reflect it in my behavior, how I treat myself and how I treat others.”
Flintside: Overcoming depression and other mental health issues is a challenging process. What were some things you learned and wrestled with?
“One thing is making the decision to be truthful and honest about where I am emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. This being a moment of transparency, I knew that there were areas in my life that needed improvement. We have a life that we live. It may not necessarily look how we want it to, but it is choosing to live in the moment, enjoy where we are, and knowing that it's a process to get to wherever we're trying to go. Life is fluid, and I believe that our purpose and destination are multifaceted.”
Flintside: It takes courage to write a book and share that journey with others. How’d you get to this point?
“The process itself was very humbling. We’re all weak in some areas. I had to step back and recognize, for one, how important my relationship with spirit is. There’s a fortification that comes when we’re intentional about cultivating that relationship. I learned affirmations, speaking to myself, my body, all those things. I didn’t believe what I was saying. I didn’t feel it. At some point, your heart, mind, spirit, and all that’s going to be in alignment, but you have to put forth to work. That was something that I have been working on. Don’t lose heart because you may not see it today: Don’t give up because it takes time.”
Flintside: How did you maintain the trust that everything you were doing would lead you out of depression and into a better state of mental health?
“I had to be very intentional about letting things go, and this whole concept of surrender has everything to do with trust. Then I had to let go of the comparisons. The reality is that my story is my story, and it's never going to be like somebody else's. The comparison thing only slows me down, and that takes me out of alignment. Sometimes, it takes us longer because there are things within us that need to be purged. If we approach it prematurely, we'd fail and think there's something wrong with us or there's something wrong with God. That process helped me with it.”
Flintside: As someone who dealt with thoughts of suicide, depression, and anger, I utilized different modalities: journaling, meditation, yoga, crystals, the Law of Attraction. What tools or strategies did you use to help get through your depression?
“Those confessions and affirmations were huge. I wrote a lot during that time. I journaled even if it was two sentences. I reached out to people that I trust from church, and they gave me prayers that were very specific to me. There were two scriptures I meditated on consistently. You have to speak it because words have power. I had to retrain my brain on thinking, being positive, and not being toxic.”
Flintside: In addition to the book, you have supplementary materials. There’s an 8-week planner and a reflection journal on the horizon. In what ways did these assist you, and how do you feel these will help others?
“The first half of the book is my story. Then there’s the 40-day devotional at the second half of it. Each day there’s a different prompt—a prayer, confession, or scripture for reflection. The weekly planner is designed to where you can use it to track your days and for planning. It helps because, again, this was about me overcoming depression. These are questions that help us be honest about how we feel—for example, acknowledging things that I’ve done wrong or things were done wrong to me. Then the process of me forgiving, not just myself, but those who caused me harm and being able to surrender that so I could move into this next phase of healing.”
Flintside: Reflecting on this past, what’s a few things you’d go back and say to yourself and say to others to assist with and healing from depression and potentially other mental health issues?
“Let it go and enjoy life. It took about two years to put a name to it. I didn’t realize it was depression. Put a name to it because that’s what helps you overcome it. Be honest from day one and process your emotions, feelings about what’s going on and share that with people you trust, who can help you through the process. Life is here for you to enjoy.”
You can find Jeneé “Royalty” Price on Facebook , Instagram, and her website. Her book, The Process of Letting Go: 40 Days of Rediscovery and Healing, is out now.