In 2012, an estimated 121 Million people around the world suffer from depression.
Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression during the course of their lifetimes.
Depression comes in different forms.
I am ONE out of MILLIONS who live with depression.
Now, with that being said, I want to clarify one thing; though I battle depression, I am happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. That makes a whole lot of sense doesn’t it…I didn’t think so. Let me explain. I love my husband, I love our children, our home, our town, everything. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything in the world. I’m happy. Plain and simple. But I struggle daily to battle my inner demons…
At the tender age of six, I was first diagnosed with depression. Some ask how can a six year old be depressed? Well, I was. I didn’t have an easy upbringing. Not even in the slightest. I did the best I could. Put on a smile on the outside and pretended I didn’t have a care in the world. But it was all a lie. By the time I hit middle school, I wanted to just quit, and give up on life. It was scary. I cried for help but no one would listen. Surely the girl who had a ton of friends and excelled not only in school but in sports as well had a wonderful life. I didn’t.
Then I started high school. Things were good. In fact, they were great. I played volleyball, basketball, and was a cheerleader. I had friends. But that was at school. When I was 15, that was the first time I ran away. I packed up and left and went to live with my aunt. It didn’t solve anything. I still carried my demons. It was also the first time I tasted alcohol and had a drag of a cigarette. Things fell apart from there… At 16, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I dropped out to take care of her. By the time I was 18, I had moved more times than I could count (running from my problems), and attended SEVEN different high schools. Yet, I never received my diploma. I ended up pregnant, scared and all alone. For the first six months of my daughter’s life, I was on my own. Sure, I had the best of friend a girl could have, helping me as much as possible. But at the end of the day, when I laid my head on the pillow, reality set in. I. WAS. ALONE. And that was the scariest/depressing time of my life.
Then there were all the things in-between the years, that kept knocking me down, despite how hard I tried.
You see, the thing is, when I can’t deal with stuff, I close up, and run from my problems/feelings. Instead of facing them head on. It’s how I was able to survive as a child and how I didn’t end up dead before I had began to live. On the outside, I was happy. But on the inside, I was slowly dying. No one knew what I was dealing with and they all chalked it up to me being a teenager who had no respect for myself or my parents. That wasn’t true. I was depressed. I had no motivation in life. I had no desire to make anything of myself. Not even close.
It wasn’t until my husband and I started dating and I started seeing a therapist, that I realized what I was doing all those years. She gave me the tools I needed to face my problems and for a while they worked. Until life got overwhelming…
First it was the fire at my husband’s job, the one that uprooted my family’s entire life. Then I lost the only person who knew what I suffered from and the only one who knew how to help. Then a tragedy hit our family (a personal one that I cannot disclose) but it shook our entire family. Just as I saw light at the end of the tunnel, something else happened to a member of my extended family, and shook us to the core again. It’s all just been too much. I reverted back to my old ways and habits. I closed myself off to everyone (including my husband), I disappeared from social media, and I neglected my writing. The nightmares started again and I barely slept.
And then one day, I had enough. By the time I realized the people I hurt along the way, my career beginning to suffer, and my family not getting everything I have to offer, I was afraid it was almost too late.
But I’m climbing out of the rabbit hole, I’m starting to see the light, and I’m pressing forward one day at a time. I’m sleeping better now. I’m writing again. And I finally making a presence on social media platforms. I had tried a few weeks back to do so, but I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. I have confident in myself this time around. I have an amazing husband, who has been nothing but supportive and loving. Along with more friends than I can count. I will get there. I’ll admit, I won’t be the same as before, but I can only strive to be better.
That’s the thing with depression, it comes in many forms, and you never know when it’s going to knock you down. But there’s one thing a person has that depression doesn’t; the ability to knock it back down. It might take a long time and a lot of hard work, but with support and love- depression can be beat. If you only allow yourself to see it. For the past few months, I was blind to it, and I didn’t want to believe I had the strength. Then one day, a light bulb went off, and I knew that I could.
I’ll never entirely defeat it. But each day, little by little, I will start to take control of my life/feelings, and depression will take a backseat. Depression, in all of it’s forms, will never permanently keep me down.
If you have any stories with experiencing depression and tools for helping deal with it; I’d love to hear them. You can post in the comments or contact me through email/facebook.