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12.8.14

#Depression is Real

This morning on Facebook, I shared a rare personal snippet of myself when I revealed I myself have struggled with depression. I know that I am not unique in that aspect. What I realize now in the mourning of Robin Williams' untimely death is that there are people out there that don't truly understand what depression is. 

It's not like a "What a depressing day." Or "I feel depressed today." Depression is a pit that you can't dig yourself out of. Some can deal with highs and lows seemingly effortless, like I've seemed to on the outside. But on the inside, I'm struggling to live everyday. It's a nagging pain that won't leave and it makes me heavy on the inside. It even paralyzes me sometimes. Those are my descriptions. It may be different for someone else. All I can go by is my own highs and lows.

What has saved me is taking care of my son. I am a single mom. I am a great mom. My son has always inspired me to keep going and be better. Still on my worst days, I’ve struggled with just getting out of bed. As a baby, my beautiful son depended on me, so I got up to feed him, I played with him, I hugged him, I kissed him, I bathed him and put him to sleep, religiously. And 10 years later, my sense of duty as his mom still saves me from sinking deeper and I'm able to get out of it, every time I sink into it. All the while, I'd feel guilty that I wasn't loving my son enough because I was hurting so bad. Was there truly a reason to be sad? I never really knew. All I knew was that I was hurting.

I'd apologize for having emotions, then apologize for not having enough emotions. I'd shut out my friends & family, not return phone calls and procrastinate on work. I've spent many days and nights not wanting to live but not wanting to die and being stuck in the middle of vapidity. The hours, days and yes, weeks go by of mental inactivity and life passed me by.

I am a writer, editor, author, illustrator, book coach, singer and songwriter. Can you imagine the time it takes to be depressed? Or rather, the energy it takes not to be depressed? This morning I asked, "BUT COULD YOU TELL THAT ABOUT ME?" Someone in another conversation said that I made depression look easy. But in fact, I want to use this to give depression another face. I am alive and fighting to live.

I continued: "But it's still a constant battle. I'm literally fighting to live everyday. I have solace in that fact that we all fight every day. Sometimes I still have found myself feeling lost more often than found." Then I sought to assure my friends and family, "But I am still good."
The truth is, #DepressionLies. Sometimes people going through the most have the brightest smiles. Unless someone tells you or you have telepathy, there is no true way of knowing their suffering. Depression is real. I'm tired of people acting like it doesn't exist. People deal in their own way but some cannot. I will never make excuses for anyone's actions but I have to live with mine. #DepressionIsReal

No matter if it's physical, emotional or mental, all I know is that when you're in pain, you want the pain to end. Some people really feel as if there is no other way out of their pain and out of others' misery but to end it all. It's tragic and there's no way I can fathom that inner torture. Many want to judge, but realistically, there are countless people walking around in slow suicide mode all day, everyday, doing drugs and other hazardous things to themselves, overworking, slowly eating and drinking themselves to death. I've been guilty of some of those things myself.

But I love my life, everything it brings and what I bring to others too much not to fight to live. Everyday. Some people don't have that scope of sight. The pit of despair is too deep.
I still seek help when I need it from time to time. I go to therapy from time to time, attended support groups, written about it and sung songs about it. And the number one thing that I've learned from it all is that it takes one day at a time. 


My heart goes out to anyone that suffers, just know that you are not alone.

If you need to talk to someone: Please call someone that can help, click this link.