Depression isn't something I really talk about much or really at all.
But it definitely had a huge impact on my life as a teen and young adult.
To this day I still have the memory of sitting in my community college cafeteria one afternoon trying to hold back the tears. At one point, the tears just came rolling down and I was afraid to get up from the table in case anyone saw me.
I still remember driving to my first therapist and how shaky and anxious I was. Honestly, it probably wasn't the best decision to drive myself there and I should have asked someone else to take me, but at the time, I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone.
It sometimes amazes me that I'm where I am now.
...meaning that I can get out of bed in the morning, and I can do daily activities like brushing my teeth and walk around the store without suddenly stopping and feeling like someone put anchors on my legs
Because I still remember the nights on the kitchen floor. I still remember the times I was walking with my friend around the city and suddenly just stopped walking. I still remember the times I asked to be excused from the classroom just to go cry somewhere.
I remember that there was a point in my therapy sessions with my third or fourth therapist where I was scared to let go, because it was all I ever knew.
The negative thoughts.
It was all I ever knew - and if that was taken away from me, would there be anything else left of me? I felt like it was my identity, because I made it my identity.
You are not your depression.
You are not hopeless.
Or any of the things you tell yourself.
Yes, you need to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of depression and/or if you've been diagnosed.
No, you do not need to be "sick enough" to ask for help. And you do not have to justify yourself to other people.
But you do need to allow yourself to heal. You do need to do the inner work and show up even on the days that are hard, scary, and downright messy.
You need to believe in yourself and allow yourself to see the light.
You need to get out of bed every morning even if it feels horrible.
You need to give yourself permission to do all of this even when you're resistant.
But I hope you know that you are not your depression.
And that things can change. That you can change.
If you had told me a few years ago that I could go a couple of days (let alone weeks and months) without crying, I would have thought you were insane. I get it, I've been there and I know what it feels like. And I know how scary and hopeless it may all seem.
But there is so much more to life than just your bedroom.
One day at a time. You got this. I believe in you, and I'm here for you.
** One of my goals is to start talking about things that have been a huge part of my life, especially topics like mental illness and body image, because it's a part of the story of why I am the person I am today. It's important to share our stories because it's like putting up a sign that says "I acknowledge this. I see this and this is important to me, and I want to hear your story too because it matters." Your story matters and someone out there needs to hear it.
Sign up for my email list.
You'll get weekly love notes and life encouragement. It's pretty awesome if I do say so myself.