Where to begin?
As much as I try to hide the things that go on with myself, sadly I can't always hide my demons. This past year has truly shown me that. As one of my best friends put it, "You have been put through the ringer, how the hell are you supposed to act like you're okay?". You know what, she was right. In one year I have been put through tests, trials and many life experiences. And while I would love to blame the world for my problems I have to admit there is always a reason for why we go through these situations.
I have never really been open about my mental struggles, hinted about it here and there but that was about it. I was ashamed to let people know that I struggle with depression and anxiety. I would tell myself I was lucky that It wasn't really "that bad". Making excuses for when a spell (what I call a depression spiral) came on. Saying I was tired, busy or just going through stuff. I wasn't ready to admit I needed help. That was until last week.
You see I grew up in a very strong family. When something went wrong we were taught to face it head on with out fear or failure. Which I don't ever blame my family and love that they taught me some amazing tactics that I will always hold dear. So when I showed signs of mental struggle I thought that I was weakest link in the chain.
You see my issues stem from taken medications that gave me side effects, ( including mental illness issues) as well as dealing with years of bullying and emotional abuse. I was conditioning myself with self doubt, horrible coping mechanisms and the inability to let go.
The relationship that started it all
When I was in my mid-twenties I was engaged to someone I thought was going to be my happily ever after. He had a great job, friends, my family liked him, and he treated me like a princess. Within one year of our relationship I was engaged and head over heels. Then shit literally hit the fan.
The second that ring went on my finger my entire world changed. He turned out to be the exact opposite of what he portrayed himself as. He became abusive, a pathological liar and we eventually found out that he was a con man. (Not to mention drug and alcohol addict.) Sadly at 26 years old I thought that I could love him back to what he was. Yeah, let me tell you how that worked out...it didn't.
A few months before we were supposed to be married he took off with all my savings, another woman and my heart. I was left with nothing more than a mattress, my cat and some books. It took my friends and my parents to help move me out of the shit hole we lived in, to another apartment. I wasn't able to do a damn thing. I just sat and stared at the wall.
While there is so much more about that situation that happened, that isn't why I brought that relationship up. This was the relationship that brought attention to a very real situation of mental awareness. After the break up I sat on the floor of my new bedroom, staring out the window with no emotion. I was numb and dead to the world. Lying to my friends and family that I was fine, that I just needed time. Until finally my mom called a doctor and told me I had to get help. Thank goodness she did!
The doctor that changed everything
While going through a year of therapy I learned some amazing things from this man. He was the one of figured out about side effected depression as well as teaching me about how dramatic situations can actually lead to people having depression. This was the doctor that brought me back to life.
He was a very wise and kind person who helped me through each attack, spiral and helped me without prescribing medication. For the first time I felt as if I was free, if I could finally release the pain that I had held on to for so long. And when it was finally time to say goodbye to this person I was able to do so with confidence and self awareness. For several years after that my spells and attacks went from daily/weekly to very few times a year. I was finally aware of what was going on.
Flash foward to present day
This past year was the first time in a very long time that I had to deal with my depression and anxiety head on. I was having several attacks a month. And two weeks ago it all came crashing down with such a force I had no time to prepare. I was forcing my self to get out of bed and go to work. Not because I wanted to, but because I had a responsibility to those that I worked with. I put on a fake smile, forced my self to deal with customers and lied when people asked how I was. I gave up everything that made me happy because I felt as if I wasn't worth it.
The truth is I wasn't okay at all. I pushed most of my friends away, I could barely talk to my parents, I lost someone I really want to try to be with, and I felt absolutely worthless. I did not want to live. I felt as if I had nothing to offer the world or anyone for that matter. I would stare in the mirror crying, hating everything I saw. When I laid in bed I struggled with thoughts of living or dying. Wondering why I was even on this planet to begin with. I felt as if I had no purpose or need. That no one wanted me here or to succeed.
You see, sometimes I have thoughts, I don't want to act upon them but I often think that if I wasn't alive people would be much better off without me. I felt as if I was always a burden to those that I loved. I felt as if the perfect image of myself was cracked and torn. I felt alone and lost in a dark cave. Feeling as if every step forward was two back. That there was no use trying anymore. As most of you know when you go through a depression spell just getting up and brushing your teeth can be a big deal. My apartment was a mess, I was a mess and I was trying so hard to climb out my whole.
Finally seeing a light
This past week it was really bad. But I was shown kindness in the most amazing places. I had a breakdown at work and my manager hugged me, told me how much her and my coworkers loved me. I had friends spend hours on the phone and face time, showing me all the amazing things I have done, telling me I wasn't as horrible of a person as I thought I was, and how they loved me. And they even helped me find a doctor that was close to my house.
People showed me that I wasn't alone, that there were others that felt the same way as me. That its okay to fall apart at times. That I don't always have to be strong, but that when I go through this I show strength in different ways. Today was the first time in weeks that I woke up feeling as if I could see the light at the top of the cave. I could shower, smile, look myself in the mirror again. It was the first time in weeks I felt as if I had a fighting chance to get my life back.
I know what you're going through...and it's going to be okay
Please don't be scared to reach out for help. Those that truly care about you will do everything in there power to help you. Once you climb out the darkness you will be able to see them again. Don't be afraid to reach out to professionals, don't be scared to send a million text messages to friends. Hell message me, I'll chat with you. Start small, don't try to tackle the large things all at once.
I promise you that you are important, you mean something. We are not meant to live just to want to die. This world is messy and painful and you are not alone in feeling this. Having confidence and loving yourself takes tons of work and most of us struggle with working on that. People sometimes don't see things that are hiding under the surface. Trust me when I saw that if we work together we can be a much better society. Be there for friends, loved ones and show kindness to someone you think is struggling.
I am here for you and I will always try to be honest in my blogs. I want to show you that you are not alone. That no matter what your background is that mental illness is a very real thing. Am I nervous about seeing a psychologist? Of course I am. But I know that I will finally be able to voice out the demons that hang inside of me. Do what you have to do to seek the help you need. You matter to me, to someone and to yourself.
*In effort not to write an entire novel and save some of the gory details for another day, I have left some details out about the past few weeks. I will however update you on progress and therapy sessions as they arrive. Stay strong and remember you are loved. <3