I feel like I have this whole entire part of myself, 90% if I am being completely honest, that the world has never been exposed to.
If I told you about the thoughts, the deep, dark, dreadful thoughts that can run through my head on any given day; I think those who have never suffered from depression would think I was a crazy person.
That is what the stigma with mental health has created. A horrible shame around a disease we have absolutely no control over. But why? How did this happen? In our society people seem to have decided that if you have a mental health issue you are “crazy”. This stigma has caused so many people not to come forward and get help and talk about it because of the same exact fear I have had for all these years, I don’t want anyone to label me crazy or insane.
More than half of my life has been spent in a dark place. A place that I could describe but if I did, I would feel so judged and embarrassed and worried that I would be looked at so differently. But seeing what is happening in our community and so many others, I want to come forward because if me being honest about my depression can help someone; I am more than willing to put my ego aside and hopefully save a life. There are kids who are throwing themselves in front of trains and taking their lives because of the hopelessness and despair they feel and every single time I hear or read one of those stories my response is always the same…A deep sense of love and compassion for them and their pain and a complete understanding of that dark place they traveled to.
When pain eats away at your soul day after day after week after month and then years you start to contemplate how you can escape this prison that is now your own mind. You have no clue where the happy and carefree person went and you have no idea how to get back there.
This is where I want to help. I need to help. I had no tools when I fell into my dark hole at the age of 18. I didn’t learn anything extensive in elementary, junior high or high school about depression. My escape became alcohol and drugs and shopping and anything that could fill this empty shell of a person I had become. No warnings. I just woke up one day and did not care if I lived or died. It was depression but I was away at college and lost in a sea of people who were partying and I completely disappeared. The outgoing, happy and energetic girl I once was……was gone.
I have decided to make it my mission to tell my truth no matter how hard it is. I have decided to make it my life’s purpose to help others who suffer and give them the tools to coexist with a disease that wants to take you down. I want to share my tools that have saved my life and allowed me to get to my 41st Birthday when I never really believed I would make it this far.
I am going to take a stand against this stigma and be the face of depression and any other mental illness because I can’t continue to hear about these tragedies and sit back with a transformational story that could help someone.
“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”
Love and Light,