I am a people person, the go-to person when you need support or help with stuff. I tick majority of life’s boxes.
But I have not been okay, and they do not know that.
It has been a couple of years since the doctor told me I had severe clinical depression. I was not ready for such a diagnosis, but I was not surprised. I knew I was not okay, but I did not know what was eating at me. All the signs were there, had been there for an entire year. In fact, I was relieved to hear the diagnosis because now I could have a name, it confirmed that I was not crazy in thinking that I was not okay.
My life was flourishing like a flower in the summer. I was kicking ass at work, changing lives, and making serious boss moves. I had love and love loved me well, life was good to me, but inside I had started breaking and crushing. It was gradual, I cannot even tell you when the crushing started, but one day I noticed it and from then on, I carried it with me. Sometimes I would wake up, dress up to go to work, get to the door and then turn back and change into my pajamas. It felt like all my energy got sucked out of me the moment I got to the door.
I started struggling with sleep. My brain would refuse to shut down and I would toss and turn all night. Some days, I would sleep for 3 hours and spend the rest watching the clock turn. Nights became my most difficult time of the day because I knew the battle that lay ahead. The lack of sleep meant I woke up tired and was tired all day. I became a shell, a hard shell that had bright colors on the outside but was dry and dusty on the inside.
At first, my husband thought that I was just being a woman going through “women things.” He thought it was a phase that would end. But it got worse. I completely lost interest in the kids. I stayed in bed all day and when I was not there, I was on the couch flipping channels. I lost all interest in life, in my job and family. I had nothing to hang on to. I became hopeless.
I had serious anxiety attacks. I kept thinking about death, me dying and how I would find rest in death. Sometimes it would feel like I was in a pit, a hole and I would be there for days. I wanted to outsource my life, to give it to someone else. I wanted to stop being me, I wanted to pass over all my responsibilities, I wanted to take a break from being me. I wanted to pack and leave, take a leave of absence, I wanted a break, to go away and not worry about my bills and my responsibilities. To just be. To start over in a place where no one knew me. I was tired of being me, I was not happy, I was exhausted, I was not okay.
And that is when I knew, I was not going through women’s things. I was not just being moody even though my moods were all over. So, I went to seek professional help and I realized that I had lost it a while back. Over the years, I had experienced so much loss that was never processed and that had an impact on me. I also realized that I was sick and the disease I had was depression. And it was not my fault that I had it.
Thankfully, today, my story is different. I have been healing; therapy and medication has pulled me out of the pit. I am so much better. I know my triggers; I know what drives me down the pit. I still have days that are rough, and I must drag myself. Some are draining, and others are filled with tears. But I also have days when am okay, going through the motions of life, days I enjoy, I feel alive, purposeful, and great. I am at a good place, a place of healing, getting better and grateful for each moment.