First, I’d like to say yes, the title of this week’s Truth Tuesday is definitely to be said in the tune of Jay-Z and Kanye’s song “No Church in the Wild”. (Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real).
Recently, I’ve seen quite a few of my social media friends post about depression. It’s something that many people suffer from, but the majority of those people find it difficult to address. One of the things I’ve learned in life is it’s important to tell parts of your story, because there is always someone who needs to hear it. My Junior year in college I struggled, fought, fell down, struggled, fought and eventually overcame depression. I can’t remember the exact day it started. It was more like little signs here and there. Since I thought I was simply going through a rough patch I didn’t do anything about it. Then, one day, I awoke, but I was unable to get out of bed and face the day. So what, I was a college student that skipped a day of classes and her part-time job. There was nothing alarming about that, except when it happened again, and again and again.
I remember lying on the couch for days on end with a box of kleenex and not understanding why I was unable to live life. I kept thinking, why are you crying? No matter how many times I asked myself that, I was never able to come up with an answer. One day I thought you could at least take a shower. So I pulled myself off the couch and headed into the bathroom. One small problem…the bathroom had great lighting and a mirror. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror, because I was scared to see what I had become. Usually, I’m all for good lighting, but I was in the middle of a battle with darkness and for once the light wasn’t my friend.
This began my twisted relationship with my bathroom. I went from avoiding it to it becoming my sanctuary. I not only dimmed the light of the bathroom, but I took it a step further and cut the light off. (Please catch what I’m saying about dimming the light of the bathroom. Sure, I’m talking about the actual light, but also metaphorically speaking about the light of the bathroom being one of those places that forces you to see everything little blemish on you and the mirror that forces you to face yourself and your baggage. How many vulnerable conversations have you had in the bathroom?) I found the darkness to be my new companion. I knew it was wrong, but it felt so good. It was relaxing to take showers in the dark. After those showers I would sit on the bathroom floor and cry for hours. One of my other “favorite” things to do would be to drive around the city at the wee hours of the morning and yep, you guessed it…cry. I made it a habit to call one my parents and talk to them for about 5-10 minutes, cry, say I can’t do this and hang up. I know for them this was not a good call.
My boy John Mayer once told me fear is the friend who’s misunderstood. Trust me, depression preys on your fears. Matter of fact, it becomes your friend. It’s a deep, dark, twisted friendship, but in your mind it’s all you have. The darkness is so thick that you lose control of yourself and everything you’ve come to know to be true. It plays on your shame, fear and strength. The shame you hide so people won’t think you’re weak or a “nut case” or dramatic. The fear you hide because you think no one will understand and be willing to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. The strength you’re able to muster up to lie to the world all while smiling and telling everyone you’re fine. I want you to know you asking for help does NOT equal weakness!!! I repeat, you asking for help does NOT equal weakness!!!
On the days when you just can’t do life and you’re living in your dark depression sanctuary similar to my bathroom, just hold on! Easier said than done, I know! Light will always defeat the darkness, but you have to tackle this monster from all sides. The first step for me was meds. I started taking Lexapro and after a few weeks I could tell a difference. I stayed on them for a year until I was well enough to stop taking them. My next step (admittedly years later) was counseling. Although meds worked for, I believe counseling is needed to get to the root of issues. Keep in mind we’re humans and will face several different issues during our lifetime, therefore we’ll have several roots to tackle. Again, don’t be ashamed! The last step is to surround yourself around people who care. Ones that you trust with your life because if you’re battling depression that means you’re fighting for your life! The third step might not be so easy. Trust me, I know. But, if you’re reading this and you don’t have any of those people or the darkness is making you think you don’t. Please know there are people in the world willing to stand in the gap and help you battle the darkness. I’m one of those people, and I’m willing to help you. CLICK HERE to contact me!!! There are also hotlines for you to call and connect with someone. CLICK HERE!!!
On Tuesdays I tell truths. It feels good to get things out, but more importantly I feel my truths are similar to someone else’s truth. By me being open with you guys every week hopefully it’s making someone feel less alone. This hopefully allows them to let go of the fear and shame and tap into their positive strength. Let’s get out of those dark sanctuaries, tackle these roots and know that’s it’s fine to live life one day at a time.
Just in case you think no one will believe you, please know that I know “Zoloft and Pax-il, Depression is MAD REAL!!!
Until next time loves…