It’s often that many people find it hard to believe when someone such as Joshua “Kold” Colbert founder and owner of Kold World, LLC experiences mental health issues. In this day and age, social media has created for some this misconception that those who don’t publicly open up about personal issues or “look” a certain way indicate they do not encounter any “real problems”. It’s important to understand that just because you don’t see anything doesn’t mean there isn’t a fight going on behind closed doors. For individuals like Joshua, you may think for a minute as you glance at him assume he looks just fine. Behind this confident unbothered demeanor, there is a story behind it all. Joshua, a 27-year-old business owner bravely opens up about his fight against depression and how he found purpose through the pain.
Joshua, an Oklahoma Native who received his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Oklahoma has battled with depression for the last 4-5 years. In 2015 he realized his depression was more serious and difficult to manage. Joshua had been switching jobs after realizing that he was unable to find a career that matched with his degree. “I was hoping to do something else or making more money would make me happier”. Like most who are unable to find work in their chosen academic fields caused him to experience increased frustration and anger. As he realized things were not going the way he expected he began feeling persistent sadness, loss of interest in things and would isolate. “I didn’t realize that I had the symptoms of depression”, he told K. Nicole Writing. After years of battling with depression, Joshua decided to be more open about his personal challenges and how it has impacted him through an open letter he wrote:
“Depression, doubt, guilt, and pain. Poor decisions adding up to pain later. How did we get here? What happened? Sparking trees, partying, sexing, losing direction and getting caught in the world. The Kold world and forgot about life. Haven't found a way to forgive myself, so how can others forgive me? Degree and student loan debt, and I can’t seem to find a job in corporate that is enough to live and recoup. Student refund balling was real cool. Wicked. So now I’m side hustling with a degree not exactly how it was painted, but still not too bad of a dream. Just had to get my eyes and mind off what everyone else had planned for me, and just go after what is for me. I just have to do me. This is what growth looks and feels like. I love and respect the lessons taught, but now I have to go get mine. Had to free my mind, from time, from lying, and some more. Found comfort and peace in Jane because it helps me escape the pain and the ache of the growing pains. I just want to find a way to help others that be scrolling they timeline thinking the same, like “damn I’m working hard every day, but why I’m living so lame? Compared to everyone else that stays on planes, and stay in flashy thangs.” I ride the waves of life with confidence and fearlessness. Patience is a virtue, and that philosophy stands true, as I sit and begin to see the fruit."
Depression is a serious complex condition but is treatable. There are many factors that could increase the cause of depression such as family history, childhood trauma, loss of a loved one, or medical problems. Both men and women can get depression. However, depression can appear differently in men than women such as through anger, hostility or reckless behavior. Men also may be more reluctant to talk about how they feel and can be difficult to recognize. If depression is untreated, it can lead to more extreme difficulties personally and financially. With an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, most people recover. “I soon learned no matter where I worked or what I did, if I wasn’t happy within, nothing else was going to make me happy”. In 2013, Joshua sought out counseling briefly and was able to acknowledge and talk about his issues which previously were a problem for him. “I felt like people couldn’t see me as a person that has problem or issues”.
Once realizing he couldn’t handle this condition on his own, he reached out and leaned on the support of his mother and closest friends. “It continues to be a daily battle, but I made up my mind that I would be happy and do what I want to do.” Joshua has learned to manage and cope with his mental health struggles in a more positive way. “The love and support that I have on my side are in abundance!” Instead of keeping his condition to himself he expresses what his journey has been like with hopes of helping others who may face the same struggles:
“I’ve learned to find comfort in the discomfort. I’ve learned to listen more and talk less. I’ve learned to write, express, and acknowledge my feelings and emotions. I’ve come to an acknowledgment and realization that we as people are not designed or meant to be perfect. We are who we are. We have different emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. The mistakes, guilt, and pain can’t stop me from chasing my dreams. There are lessons in the mess, and I have a message to share with the ages. I’ve walked an adventurous path that I have experiences I can speak on with knowledge and firsthand experience. Far from perfect, and working constantly every day to reach the best version of self I can be, but learning to not be so hard on myself along the way. The pain makes for great gains, and even as we embark on this new line of business; we are prepared for the strikes, the fight, and the discomfort that will come. However, we are equipped and ready to battle it with love, peace, and authenticity. I’ve searched, and I’ve found that inner king, that inner boss, that inner voice and spirit that has been traveling all of this time. I’ve identified that inner being and voice as “Kold.” We all have that inner being and voice that can give us strength and power to do whatever we want to do. I’ve learned that we just have to know how to tap into that power. My hope is to share messages that will help others find their power and to help others restore confidence and hope within their lives. While there is a lot of help we can seek externally, a lot of searching can and must be done internally. The choice to conquer is met with complimentary actions that follow suit in order for me to restore and heal.”
Joshua’s fight against depression has not stopped him from pursuing his dreams and finding his purpose. Kold World, LLC was founded by Joshua “Kold”, a business that was started to house the various activities and business ventures of Kold. More recently, he decided to focus more on his business and share the vision God gave him in 2009. As a child, Kold was always top of the class when it came to academics, athletics, style, and care. The business also brought back together many of his childhood friends who are partners along with his journey. Kold and his team’s mission is to share the message of love, optimism, and spirituality through products and services. Which then in 2017, the Le’Don collection was born. Joshua explains the meaning behind Kold World:
“On June 29, 1990, Joshua "Kold" Colbert was born. However, before the name Joshua was dubbed, Sean Le'Don was on the list of names for consideration. This was a story told to Kold as a child. While in the process of searching for a marketable name, that could fit the style and nature of the product line, Le'Don was explored as an option. According to the urban dictionary don means the best, the s***" In another definition, Don is defined as a teacher or professor. Each are fitting titles and characteristics to define the style and goal of the collection line.” Therefore, as Kold was working to develop his accessories line the name Le'Don resurfaced and was applied. Overall, the name was derived from a potential birth name from Kold's parents, and from the urban definition of the word Don. Combined, it has made for a marketable and fitting name for Kold World's accessory product line."
“It's a Kold World, but Life is Sweet”. -Joshua “Kold” Colbert