I’ve skirted around it enough
But with the loss of yet another public figure to mental illness I feel that I too should share my (shortened) story. To let others know they are not alone, to hopefully inspire others to tell their story.
Depression is real.
It is not a weakness. It is not “sadness”.
Unless you experience a form of debilitating mental illness it is hard to explain how a person can get to the place where they can no longer hold themselves up. It is not a selfish act, for they are not just thinking of themselves.
Those of us with mental illness do not want to be a burden. We do not want to be treated differently. Sometimes we think asking for help is placing too much on those we love. We don’t want to “drag them down” with us. When it gets really dark, sometimes there is no light.
As I have posted before, I was diagnosed a little over three years ago with depression (I also have it’s fraternal twin anxiety). I had spiraled downward after switching jobs, the financial stress of doing so, and illness in my family. Everything weighed me down like a brick. Being a single mother and not having enough money to feed/shelter and clothe myself and my daughter was frustrating. Having a sick father and not knowing what exactly was going on at the time was terrifying. I could not bring myself out of what I thought was a funk. My coping mechanisms were gone. (I have often wondered how long I actually suffered, telling myself for years that the helpless times were “just a bad time” in my life.)
I finally went and got help when I realized that I felt disconnected. Like I was watching a VERY BAD MOVIE of my life. The thought of going back into work paralyzed me. I went to see my Dr. and when I sat down with her….I cried. I felt absolutely hopeless. I had no joy left in my life.
Thankfully I have a great support system and a great Doctor. With them, with medication, I was able to get off my knees. I am back at the job I left prior to chasing another. They know I am sick and they support me in any way they can.
And I now realize….
I am one of the lucky ones. I finally let myself be sick with no excuses. It’s been this long and I still struggle. There are still days I don’t want to face the world, but with my new coping skills, I am able to do so most of the time. I also speak out whenever I can. Share my story whenever I can.
So to those out there who feel like they may be slipping down the rabbit hole….it is okay to seek help. It is okay to be sick. You are NOT weak. You are stronger than you realize. It takes great courage to ask for help. Talk to someone, anyone. You are NOT a burden. You are human. You are important. You matter.