#Depression-It’s Ok#

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Poet Nayyirah Waheed

 

I’ve always wanted to get into poetry, and just for that I have found it to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve read a variety of poets but somehow I never felt a connection.

You know that feeling of sudden awareness when a word or phrase reflects perfectly your immediate state of being? And your eyes widen and your heart contracts almost painfully with the knowledge that someone out there gets you? That connection. I’ve had it with many authors but, scarcely, with poets. Until now.

Nayyirah Waheed gets me. Or I get her. Or it’s a mutual ‘I-get-you’, I don’t know. But when I first read this verse, my heart skipped a beat in recognition. I felt relief. I am not a freak, I am not crazy, I am not scary. I’m just sick-and that is ok.

I write a lot about Depression and Mental Illness and i worry sometimes that I am dragging my readers down. My blog is about expressing things I love, and I try to keep it upbeat and fun and positive and whimsical; but I also want to keep it authentic and true, and for me Mental Illness is real. I suffer from Chronic Depression and Esteem issues which have directed me to make bad choices for myself and have created the rut i find myself stuck in now. And so I write about it, with the hopes that people will find comfort, relief and inspiration to avoid my mistakes and be comfortable seeking help for themselves.

Sometimes I browse online for information and I only find the how-to’s and success stories of Depression, rarely the struggle-in-the-trenches ones, which makes me feel even more distant from achieving that success myself. So I figured If I share my own stories-the really dark, deep, painful, tearful, debilitating emotions I feel with each episode, maybe another patient out there will relate and feel less alone, less afraid and just…relieved. Relieved that someone else out there understands. Relieved that he/she doesn’t have to suffer alone in silence And relieved that one can talk about it openly and seek help.

I made my first appointment with a psychiatrist for August and I am nervous. How much should I reveal? What will she say? What if I just cry through the whole thing? What if I have to take medication? Nervous much? Yeah, I’m nervous. But I’m tired of trying to handle this alone. I need help. I am very relieved to just say that-I need help.

And as Nayyirah Waheed says, “It is okay to hold your hearts outside of your body…”. That’s how you Heal.

And so, I’m going to continue with that first step, my heart on my sleeve, and start to heal too.

 

LoveUntitled @_@

 

#Moving Beyond Fear#

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Hello and apologies! It has been a very long time since I have come on here to write and share things. It has been a rough few months for my Depression and Anxiety, and a lot of things got put off because of them.

Over these past few months, I’ve been up and down. Successful and failed. Hopeful and defeated. Positive and in the depths of despair. And while I’ve always known why I am so emotionally volatile, I think I have finally wrung up the nerve to confront the reason out loud.

Fear.

Fear has been a constant force in my life- like the undercurrent of a river, directing every turn and every decision thus far. Fear of judgement, fear of mistakes, fear of failure, fear of everything falling apart (again!), fear of shame, guilt, regret, fear of being not good enough, fear of ugliness, fear of being too fat, fear of being laughed at,fear of being discovered, fear of poverty, fear of mediocrity, fear of being too loud, too quiet, too short, too honest, too meek, too different, too opinionated, too offensive, too conformist, too dark, too light, too fake, too real….the list goes on and on. And looking at it on the page, I realize that really, it’s a very silly list because it encompasses everything. It should really just say Fear of Life. Fear of Existence.

Well, two weeks ago after a meeting with the bank, this undercurrent of Fear overcame me, rising up into a full-on emotional tsunami and pulling me under hard. I was left distraught, sick with worry and anxiety and confined to my bed. Thoughts flashed through my mind like lightening:

What are you doing? How are you going to survive? What if you don’t make it? Why didn’t you work harder? What if I make the wrong decision again? Should I just quit? What if people find out I’m a failure? Why were you so stupid? Why is this happening to me? Do you have a right to even have dreams anymore? How will you get out of debt? Will you ever meet someone? Do you deserve anything good in life at all?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

I was scared and depressed and stressed and anxious and at a total loss as to how to fix my life.

But fortunately, there was a silver lining amidst the turmoil. My friends, my lovely, sweet, attentive, caring friends. They noticed something was wrong. And one of them stopped by, and we talked and she told me something that made me think. She said, “I used to be exactly like you; worrying about the future, worrying about living paycheck to paycheck, stressing, crying, sick with fear. And then one day I woke up in the morning and just said ‘Fuck It’. I decided to stop coddling the fear and worry and stress and all I heard was this-You Go Through Things For A Reason and It Will All Work Out. In it’s own space and time, It Will Happen. And so now I only believe in these three things. I focus on them, I pray on them, I visualize them, I talk on them, I dream on them and, most importantly,  I live them out. And the Fear? It’s still there. I’m human so I do pick it up from time to time. But I absolutely don’t believe in it anymore. I refuse to let it obstruct me from Life anymore.  And so I put it back down, and I just keep going.” -(S.P-)

Wow. Now isn’t that something?

It really got me thinking, not only about Fear in my life, but of my reaction to Fear itself and the importance I give to it ( I even write it with a capital, surely that says something!). Looking back I realized that Fear has taken almost 30 years of time and energy spent denying myself and the right to live life on my own terms. That thought went straight to the heart and I cried. After acknowledging and grieving that loss, I thought back to my friend’s words.

Is it really possible to just kick Fear to the curb like that? Is that realistic or just another form of denial? Is there really a reason for everything that happens to you? What if, for 1 year, I chose to put Fear aside and instead lived as if everything were going to work out? As if things are coming together, at that right space and in that right time, and everything will turn out beautifully. What would that year look like?

And then another thought hit me, so suddenly I felt my heart constrict.

‘You have nothing to lose, give it a go’.

As I got dressed the next morning, I realized  that for the first time ever, I actually heard my own intuition speak to me. And I really did want to give it a try and find out myself what a year beyond Fear would look like.

So I made an appointment with a professional therapist ( I realized I can’t do this alone) and headed out to meet my friend for coffee (my BFF therapist), and seriously, for the first time in weeks, I felt light again.

 

LoveUntitled @_@