There is Healing in Transparency: My Journey with Depression
As someone who has been diagnosed with depression (and mild anxiety), I want to be transparent because I wish I knew more people that were dealing with the same thing while I was at my lowest. In some of what should have been the happiest times in my life—I was depressed. I doubted everything, my ability, my self-worth—everything. My body hurt and my brain ran a mile a minute all the time. I smiled because people expected me to smile. I supported my friends and family because that’s what I thought they needed even though I refused to ask for help for myself. I prayed that if I was going to stay this ‘sad’ that I would just go ahead and die. At my lowest, I stopped eating, I drank too much and I became a master of masking what was really going on. I probably could have kept going for YEARS without anyone really knowing until it swallowed me up.
I crawled my way close to the surface—year after year, but something would happen or I would spiral out of no where and be back at the bottom again. I never fully broke the surface and reemerged into the light.
Not until January 2019.
In a very random conversation in a group chat with a few sorority sisters, a few brought up either they were going to therapy or made appointments and planed to start going to therapy. Majority of us have been close since 2012, and all that time I never realized they were dealing with things that would even “warrant therapy.” Side note: if you breathe air—you warrant going to therapy! They are all successful in their own right, beautiful and intelligent. Sure, they’re not perfect and in their lives they have been through challenges to say the least—but I remember thinking, “really, but therapy?” I just didn’t realize even they needed help too. I remember saying in the chat how grateful I was for their transparency and for encouraging me to seek help. I knew all the work I did alone wasn’t working. So I decided in that moment, before doubt stopped me, to search for a therapist and make an appointment. I did some research and I found one that aligned with exactly what I needed and the “type” of person I would feel comfortable opening up to. I made my first appointment on January 15th.
Fast forward to now. I’m not ‘healed.’ Depression is a shadow I will live with forever. Sometimes I’ll see it following me and sometimes I won’t—but I now know where the light is to cast it out. It’s in the tools I’ve been taught to use. I know my triggers and I know what works for me. I personally don’t take medication but I know that if my tools stop working and I start masking again—it something to start looking into and get educated on. The thing is I now KNOW what I should do. It’s not perfect—I had a horrible bought of depression a month or so back—and it took some time to work through it. But I worked through it. Like I said, this isn’t a perfect process but it is worth it.
Seemingly, I’m a happy, successful, thriving 20 Something—but I live with depression. Someone or even you reading this may be suffering. Ask for help—even if depression tells you no one cares. Someone cares. I promise you, someone cares. I care.