Avid followers of Cheap Clothes 4 Heauxs would have noticed that I had been unusually quiet for a few months. As much as I often get plagued by the evil demon that is writer’s block, that was not the reason for my hiatus.
I have always been a happy soul, I laugh at just about anything possible. And within my 29 years of life, a lot of things have taken place that on paper really should have made me an inpatient on a psych ward. But between having a strong Mother as a role model and what I can only now put down to as guidance from the Lord I have managed to live somewhat of an unscathed life.
Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. (Mental Health Foundation 2018)
Probably one of the most discussed topics of the 21st century, but at the same time a condition I believed I was completely unworthy of. Now when I say this, I mean it in terms of how can someone of my privilege have the audacity to use the term when I have a roof over my head, a stable job, a family to share my troubles with. How can I say that I have suffered from depression when society deems me to not be an individual in turmoil?
2018 has been a year for the record books for me. I have had to deal with my four-year relationship with who I consider the love of my life hanging in the balance, having issues with my family, and not to mention a new job that just didn’t work out how I planned. All of this had completely drained my positivity reserve tank and left me flat out.
These experiences lead me to suffer from sleepless nights, poor motivation which made me struggle to get out of bed, really low moods, even a small suicidal thought or two and even then I refused to claim that what was happening to me was something I couldn’t easily pull myself out of. Due to the nature of my full-time job it has always been a heavy stressor, but I found within this very dark time that it was my safe haven because work was the only place that I had stability and structure. So I tried to use it as a form of therapy to stay grounded, but it wasn’t until I sat in my managers office to crack a joke and ended up in a flood of uncontrollable tears that I was able to face reality and realise that this wasn’t just a bad day, I couldn’t manage these feelings alone. It was real, I was suffering from a mental health illness.
That moment changed my way of thinking for good. Growing up I was always taught that I had to be strong to get through any difficult time, that dwelling over the situation or labeling it would only prevent me from moving forward from the situation. So I would throw myself into different activities to push myself to progress from it or serve as a distraction. As much as this advice has some merit to it, it is not a permanent fix and what I now believe has in lead me to the cause of my depression.
So I did the exact opposite of my normal process, I assessed all of the issues I was enduring at once and told myself that all the emotions I am feeling were valid. I wasn’t overreacting this was actual trauma. I stopped comparing my suffering to others, and last but not least I said the well-needed words out loud in front of the mirror “Serea, you are depressed”. Once I said those words it was like I was free to feel all the emotions I had locked up inside to cope.
After accepting my state I found that my head became clearer, I found it easier to talk about the emotional disturbance that had taken place inside my head. I cried some more, I got angry and I ate sooo much comfort food, but I was able to understand and manage what was taking place.
I would love to end this story by saying that I am now been miraculously healed and probably will never see another low mood again, but the reality is that life comes with its ups and downs so I still live day to day with all these feelings. But being honest with myself and admitting my current position was definitely a great start to being able to manage the internal drama within me, I am far more stable and positive then I was a few months ago and willing to conquer anything that comes my way.
If there is any advice I could give to other people dealing with something similar, it would be that it does not make you less of a person to admit that you have moments of severe weakness. It is okay to seek support for your problems no matter the size of them, and most importantly never give up on yourself because this for sure is not your final form.