I have written many versions of this post over the past couple of months. I’d start them and then stop writing it. Some of them over a thousand words and some of them a few sentences. Truth is, I don’t have a lot to give so I decided until I do, I wanted to give you piece of what I can offer at the moment. I know that it’s important that these words be seen. That these words be prayed over and that these words heal the recipient. God has a way of being strategic like that. His plan is perfect. This isn’t about what others felt, their response or their experience in my journey. This about seeing the inside of healing in its present form. Knowing that there is hope for us all.
What Do I Have to be Depressed About?
So in short I have battled with severe depression and of course most people don’t know unless you tell them.Depression is not a hard thing to hide when no one is really looking directly at you. You can be looking at some one and not see them. Yes, I have a lot of happy days and happy moments. I feel blessed to have my family and life, honestly. You see how in that last sentence I had to validate my blessings to help you as the reader understand that I’m grateful? Because of what I may have presented, doesn’t align with what you summed my life to be. That’s natural, we all do it. That’s one of the levels of why depression can be hidden from people who can’t see your pain through your smile. But this isn’t about where I am, its where I’m traveling to. When I share my journey in any piece of writing, the healing has happened or is happening. The light is what is shared, never darkness. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Can I share my light with you?
This won’t be a long post remember, So here are the cliff notes. My depression didn’t come from one thing, it came from a lot of things. But most days it only takes one trigger. Big or the smallest thing. Well, one day I had a trigger and I spiraled internally. That night I sat in my closet on the edge of an unknown mental space and I said to God, “If you can please just hold on to me and get me off this floor, I’ll go get help.” My mind began to ease and the next day I was back in therapy sessions. I was going to church focusing on my faith, I was in depression recovery group. Hell, I didn’t know that was a thing. Everything hurt, literally and figuratively. I withdrew drastically and put myself in a bubble. My therapist helped me see that I didn’t have much left to give and I was trying to protect and hold on to the little I had left. It was true. Over the next few months, I made a commitment to get my mind and body right. My body didn’t feel the same, I was in pain and my body was reacting.
Lump in My Breast
I found a lump in my breast. I was in denial for like two weeks. I cried, laughed, panicked, cussed, & questioned. I honestly thought I was imagining it, because sometimes I couldn’t feel it. I made an appointment and my main doctor sent me to get a mammogram. I felt like I hadn’t prepared to be getting a mammogram this early. The experience felt lonely, foreign but oddly comforting. Walking into a back waiting area full of women in pink robes brought a feeling of solidarity. Everything turned out to be fine, and I was so thankful, But that grounded me in the notion to not play about my health. So I got a full work up and discovered I had a little work to do on my health. That story is long but that about summed it up. The whole experience made me just want to hide under the blanket of childhood. You know, that blanket of what was…
30 Year Old Blues
Imagining life before and just the whole 30 year old experience is rocking us millennials like we’re in that treetop from the lullabies going 100 miles in hour. We have this craving to revert back to when we didn’t have to care, just live. This is that age nobody really talked about too much. Of course you know about your teens, 20s and the fabulous rebirth of 40s and so on. I now get the 40 and fabulous awakening. Because if you mentally make it out the changes and growing pains of 30s, we all deserve a metal and feel sure of ourselves that may come in your 40s.
Healing is taking a beat to figure out the source and moving in that direction while working through it. As a woman in my 30s I was intrigued and really wanted to get other women’s opinions on their experience. And 30s definitely comes with some blues, like the low down dirty blues. The consensus is, no matter what you have, or where you are, you probably don’t think you have what you want, not where you want to be, or want to move folks out your life. The need to feel like you are somebody and have impact sets in at this age. You probably want to give more than you have to people that you love. And death becomes more final, like you, yourself are running out of time.
In life you hear don’t look back, except to see how far you come. That has truth, but 30s has a lot of looking back because this age brings about so many questions. where you came from, where you’re going and what the hell is taking so long of your ask. Like I mentioned earlier we’re trying to chase the dreams we set for ourselves or just feel grounded in some way. Along with the mess of the last 3 years within this country, grief, work, family, friends, and our own mental battles, depression is real across the board for a lot of people. I know I’m not alone and gatekeeping my journey and healing doesn’t help to make sure we as women know, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope you aren’t reading this and feeling sadness, but hope. In April my husband lost his mother, the woman that birthed him into this world. I am watching and supporting him in his grief the best I know how. But daily I see a man carry his pain, provide for his family, give to others and try to keep his head above water. That doesn’t show me perfection, it shows me human strength only God can give. It shows me that we must continue to pray for each other even when no one is watching. Your prayers are helping someone you may not even know hold on. The lost of a love one feels suffocating because it’s final, you can’t take a pencil and erase it. Listen to me closely, because THIS I know. God will give you enough and he will comfort. You know that we all die, but grief grooms you to accept that and in return be able to comfort those who experience it after you. That’s why God made love the greatest of all.
I want you to understand that feeling full in one area and completely empty in others can co-exist in your life just as easily as you inhale and exhale your next breathe. But there is one thing you must ask yourself, what was that thing that made you feel alive? Like throwing your head back and feeling? If you know it, do more of it and do it often. If you can’t think of anything, you have work to do. The good thing is, you have now to figure that out, so don’t wait. I can promise you this, Being the best healthy you will always take some type of work. We will never be able to escape the need to evolve and we can’t go back. In the times of social media, the pivot the country has taken, and all we endure daily, life doesn’t feel like “home” to you and that feeling can cause deep depression or sadness.Even though some seasons seem longer than others, they do change, Hold On. Get help via therapy, support group, church, a trusted friend, someone older who has been through it, or a family member. Don’t be afraid to combine and mix or match the options. As for me I feel better because I’m doing the healing work. I feel my feelings. You are not alone, we got this, Happy healing. Thank you for seeing me.
NOTE: If you are looking for more in-depth conversation about my depression journey, I have walked you through each week in real time my recovery on my podcast the last few months.
Dedication: Rest In Peace to one of the most amazing men I have known, My Uncle Charles Sibley(11/24/2022). I can’t put his lost into words. But my heart aches. I thank God for blessing me with another uncle who loved and cared for me. Who made us laugh, who cooked/grilled us good food, and fed our souls with his electric presence. Strength, peace, love and comfort to his girls.