As a 28-year-old single mother who suffers from depression and anxiety, I can tell you that Its Okay not to be Okay.
This post will be very personal. More personal than I have ever planned. I hope you can take a moment to hear what I’m saying and take it all in for what its worth. I hope you can gain some insight from my words. Before I continue, please excuse the mess. When it comes to explaining how Depression and Anxiety makes me feel, I get a bit lost. I feel as if I am unable to form a sentence. My words become jumbled and a bit all over.
I want everyone to understand there is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is not an illness. It does not need medical attention. It usually requires best friends, ice cream, movies and a good cry. Depression requires much more than best friends and ice cream. Depression is a real illness that requires medical attention. You should not brush it off. Depression has taken many lives over the years.
As someone who suffers from Depression and Anxiety, I always feel like when it rains it pours. I feel as though I can’t get a break. I start to question if I am a good person or not. Have I done something so wrong that the universe feels like it needs to keep throwing punches!
Most days I feel as if I am drowning. I can see the surface and the sun shining bright beyond the surface but I can never get there. I just keep swimming, as if I am swimming in the same spot and never move. The surface if there, I can just never reach it.
When you suffer from Depression and Anxiety, you pretty much feel alone. Even when surrounded by the ones you love. You feel like it’s you against the world.
My brother got married a few years ago. I was happy to go to the wedding, however, I wanted to go as the photographer. I didn’t want to be a guest. If I am working, my mind is busy, and I don’t freak out. My brother wanted me to be his guest. He wanted me to enjoy myself and relax and though I appreciate his thoughts, it did not end well for me.
I ended up having a panic attack in the bathroom. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. There were too many people and I felt like they were all staring at me. I just wanted to leave. It was out of my element. I wanted to go home, get out of those clothes, get in my bed, and under the blankets where I felt safe.
To feel this way at an event like this breaks my heart. I wanted to enjoy myself so much but I was like that the entire day. While putting my make-up on, doing my hair, and getting dressed. I was overwhelmed from the second I woke up. I knew I couldn’t handle it. I don’t do well at social events and it pretty much sucks. I miss out on a lot. I’ve missed birthdays and holidays. I’ve missed a lot of great memories and laughs because of my illness.
Depression took over my life for a long time. I felt as though I had no reason to be here and when I was 14 I attempted suicide. I felt so alone and no one understood. My parents were going through a divorce and it was pretty bad at times. I am happy to say 14 years later, I am still here and never attempted suicide again.
I had a bit of a rough childhood and though it wasn’t all bad, it was easier to remember the bad over the good. Now, today I am in a better place than I have been in the past and I don’t dwell on my childhood. I take it for what it is and I took it as a learning experience. Despite my parents issues, they raised some good kids. We have our own issues but despite the odds, we are good people. Many may not say this, but I am thankful for the childhood that I had. It taught me a lot and because of my parents I didn’t make the same mistakes they did.
My dad still apologizes to me and I tell him every time its okay. If we didn’t have the life we had, I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t have the son that I have. Though my life is far from perfect and I struggle from pay check to pay check, I have the most amazing son and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
This is a photo of my boy from 2013. My son has seen things a child shouldn’t because of my depression. When I am having a bad week, he knows. He will cover me up with blankets, make sure I have all the pillows and that I am comfortable. He will hug me endlessly despite not knowing why I cry. He tells me everything will be okay even though he doesn’t know whats wrong.
My son saved my life. In 2007 I was headed down a dark path. My depression had taken on a new level of darkness and I had given up on life. I didn’t care what happened to me at that point. When I found out I was pregnant in June of 2007 I was scared. I had no idea what I was going to do. At one point in my pregnancy, I had a nervous break down. I made it to work 1 day out of 6. I cried a lot, I slept a lot and cried some more. It was one of my darkest moments.
This boy is the reason I am here today. He is the reason I strive each day to get up. He is my reason for living.
Though I suffer from Depression and Anxiety, they do not define who I am and what I am capable of. These illnesses do not own me, I own them! It can be a fight but I am willing to fight till the end, till I have no fight. Depression is a serious illness and even though today I am in a much better place mentally, I still very much suffer from depression. There is a battle every day going on inside of my head.
Please don’t take Depression or Anxiety lightly. These are real issues and they need to be recognized. Someone who suffers from Depression isn’t just sad. They have an illness and they should seek help. I have been blessed and have been able to fight this fight on my own. I am able to hold on even when I feel as if the ground under my feet is gone.
But you don’t have to fight this fight alone! Seek help. Call your doctor. Get the information. Don’t let it go as if it’s nothing. It’s not nothing, it’s something.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Its Okay not to be Okay!