So here it goes, in all its un-glittery glory, what I am talking about is depression. I have been dealing with anxiety/depression for a pretty big part of my life, going on about 12 solid years. I have to take something,every day, just to help me regulate something as small as functioning on a daily basis. Some days are good and some days are really bad. This week has been particularly bad, all because of a tiny moment that happened more than 1000 miles away from me. Something that has affected people I don't even know that well. Death is how this began, and what has brought me to this moment This is something that most people, even members of my family probably didn't know until right this moment. I know that my life has handed me cards that have aged me well beyond my 29 years. The moment in my life that catapulted me into this was the death of a friend of mine, right out of high school.
My dear, sweet friend was not taken by accident, it was by suicide. By her own choice, her light was extinguished. Shortly after this, I had six more friend commit suicide over the course of the next 5 months. On top of all this heartache, my family life had been shaken to it core, by the finalization of my parents, pretty messy divorce.
I have never had a lot of self confidence, and for that portion of my life, I began to let the little that I did have, slip right out of my fingers. I was pretty sick for a while and just kind of threw myself and my mind into, what I now know, was a coping mechanism, because I was not strong enough to deal with any of it. I am the oldest of five, and during this time I just tried to make "everything work". Even though, I don't think I have ever stopped to make sure I was 'working' over the last 12 years. On top of all of that, I do not trust anyone. Ever. Period. Not even my own husband.
All of this coping and dealing and trying to be strong came tumbling down about 2 years ago, right before thanksgiving. I have honestly never felt more alone, more isolated, more sad, or so completely out of control in my life. I am OCD to the millionth degree and if there could be an award for being Type A, I think I would have won it a long, long time ago. All of these things, mixed together, have to make for a lethal personality. Not the kind of person, that you think "Oh, they are definitely a ticking time bomb." but the type of person that you have no idea what is going on underneath the surface.
Even as I type this, I am realizing just how very real this is. I have been fortunate enough to have a few friends in my life that know exactly what I am talking about. Along with that realization, pushed me into taking action in getting help for myself.
I am far from being okay. I am not cured, not do I think I will ever be "fixed", but I am on my way. Something that has registered with me, lately, is that so many people still think that depression is not real. That anxiety disorders are just made up so that people have an excuse. If you think this, than thank you for making it even harder for the people in your life, suffering from these issues, to get help.
I guess my candy this week is to simply admit to yourself and others that you need help. I am not writing this for sympathy, and I certainly do not need verbal acknowledgement or praise or anything. I want someone, even if it is only one person, to read this and say, I am so glad I did, because I am struggling with the same things. There are things that you can do to help yourself. and if RuPaul has taught me anything it is....."If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else." Funny, but true.
Here are some wonderful things that have helped me mend: *I am NOT a medical professional offering medical advice, I am simply offering ideas as to what has helped me keep going*
1. Get help from a medical professional. Whether it be for sleep aid, anti anxiety meds, etc. Get your body chemically balanced. Your medical professional can refer you onto a therapist.
2. Find someone to talk to. Make sure that person is not biased, can give you honest to goodness feedback, and is a licensed professional.
3. Exercise. You would be amazed at how walking, running, biking, YOGA, is not only good for the body, but good for the soul. I am not religious, any more (oh yes family! there is another shocker bomb) but I do know that there is a connection between your body and your mental wellness. Yoga is my go to. Clear your thoughts, clear your mind, clear your soul. Whatever it is that you like to do, hell, even if you don't like to do it, get out and get your body moving.
4. Journal. Writing for me is therapy. I have journaled for as long as I can remember. It has helped me through the darkest times in my life, and at the time, I didn't even realize how therapeutic it was.
I hope that you all have a beautiful weekend! Mine will be full of flower planting and photo shoots.