The Many Faces of Depression
As I sit here typing this my mind wanders. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for months now and although I fight, I still feel like I am in a losing battle. The misconception of what depression looks like causes many people to slip through the cracks. For me, it’s the high function depression. I still smile, I still do my job, I still take care of my family. Why? Because it is all I know. Keeping things as routine as possible is a way to keep myself from sinking deeper in depressions depth. However, in those quiet moments, those nothing to do moments where I am faced with everything that I am feeling that gets to me. Most of the time I beat myself up because I don’t know how I got here. Due to my busyness I missed the signs. I speak about self-love and self-care, yet here I sit lost in translation. I am grateful for my support system because without them…only God knows. It took EVERYTHING to reach out to others. I didn’t share what I was/am dealing with. I just asked them to pray for my mind. I am a very private person and asking for help was extremely difficult for me. Especially given that I cannot pinpoint how I got to this place. I didn’t want to seem weak or like I’ve failed yet again. I’ve gone through the counseling; I’ve learned the steps. Yet, here I am. People think that depression is only the sit in the dark, stay in bed, crying, isolation…the list could go on and on. Just because in the pictures we look happy, or we can laugh and carry on a decent conversation doesn’t mean that we are ok. The mask we wear are great disguises. We stay away from the people we know can read us. For me, it’s in the eyes. This weakness is like a scarlet letter, and although invisible to most it burns bright. The thing that I have learned is that in these times it takes great strength to acknowledge where I am. Will things get better…who knows. But I know that I will come out stronger. It is ok for us to have these moments. Everyday won’t be a happy day. Everyday won’t be a sad day. We just have to keep pressing and if you are like me and don’t want anyone to know where you are…take a chance on reaching out. IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK! Pay attention to how you are feeling and if possible, any triggers that may cause you to go on a downward spiral. It is my hope that through my transparency that I’ve help someone. Let’s be helpers of one another. We may not know the reasons why, but we can know that someone is there. Let’s rid ourselves of our mask and take an honest look at ourselves so that we may be able to get the proper help and continue to reinforce the importance of mental health. Remember, Trust the Process and Trust Yourself.
I wrote this back in May but struggled to post it. In all honesty, this vulnerable place is hard for me. I’m the go to person. The one that is always asking others how they are doing and sharing the spill about taking care of themselves. You know, the importance of Mental Health. All the while, I’m slowly getting loss in the abyss of my own mental struggle. To the point that I fought with the concept of being a hypocrite. How can I encourage anyone else when I can’t even encourage myself? Who am I? It becomes so easy to beat yourself down. Am I better now, eh…I have my good days and bad days. I feel as though I’m on a never-ending roller coaster ride. How am I handling it? I allow my good days to be good days and I embrace the bad days. I attempt to be more discerning so that I can pinpoint the triggers. Bottom line, I don’t have all of the answers. I must take things a day at a time with the hopes of having more good days than bad. So, I say the same to you again. Take things one day at a time. Embrace how you feel and give yourself some grace. It is a process. Trust it and trust yourself.