One of my main goals this year was to be open about mental illness, as I suffer from clinical depression. So many feel they can not have a voice and I would like to be one for those suffering in silence. There are more of us out there than I could have ever imagined. I often have to remind myself that how I am feeling is not by choice but a very serious illness.
As some of you may have noticed I have almost entirely dropped off the face of the earth. I have become very withdrawn, quiet and am frankly just not myself. I am currently battling the deepest and most sever depression I have had to face yet. I am unlucky in the fact it keeps rearing its ugly head, when I feel I am making so much progress. I am currently dealing with a lot of issues even a person I’m not writing this for pity, to offer some inspirational quote about how I see a light at the end of the tunnel or how all bad things shall pass with time. I am here to share the reality behind what happens when a person gets to this point, what people suffer through without anyone even knowing they are. That it becomes almost impossible to see past the darkness and that it’s not something a person can just “snap out of.” I am here to share that the dark thoughts that overcome you are incredibly real, scary and happen more than you’d like to admit. I am here to share that this fight is exhausting and takes a toll on you physically as well as mentally. I have lost 20 pounds in a month, my skin has become incredibly dry, my hair falls out, I have loss of appetite, my fingers and limbs twitch, I have loss of muscle, I am exhausted 24/7, I have back pain, digestive problems and lingering chest pains. I constantly lose control over my own thoughts and my actions. I uncontrollably cry in the shower, while eating, while driving, and while going to sleep. It’s a battle that you can’t put on hold for an hour, it’s a battle a person is constantly fighting against. My biggest daily accomplishment right now is getting out of bed. I actually pat myself on the back every time I can do it. The smallest most mundane tasks become 10x harder to accomplish. Dishes? Laundry? Eating? Forget about it! This is a demon that gets stronger while you get weaker.
I frequently want to give up and frequently want to surrender to depression. I would love nothing more than to end this fight. Yet here I am, somehow managing to get through another day. I don’t feel like a strong person most days but how else am I managing to do this? I honestly don’t know how I do it sometimes, as I feel that when I take one step forward I get pushed ten back. I am more proactive than most when it comes to my mental health. I am seeing a therapist once a week, I am on medication, I recently started going to a excersize program, I reach out to friends and family when I am suffering. I am this proactive yet I constantly feel everything I have just shared. Imagine how a person who has not taken any steps must feel? Someone who feels they can’t be open and tell someone? The stigma needs to end. The uncomfortable need to be made to feel comfortable.
It’s so important to remind anyone going through this that you’re there and their feelings are valid. Listen, even if you can’t offer much advice. You don’t need to ever fully understand what a person is going through but a simple reminder that you’re thinking about them or love them can make a huge difference. To those suffering in silence, know you don’t have to. You don’t need to tell the world but try to make it a goal to at least reach out and tell someone. A family member, a friend, a stranger or a medical professional. I know you feel alone but you don’t have to. ❤