This is a bit of a difficult topic for me to write about, but I feel like the time to write about it has presented itself. It has presented itself so wonderfully, too, bringing me flowers and taking me to dinner. Ok, now I’m just being silly. So what is it that I’m writing about? Can you tell I’m avoiding the subject? To begin, I must inform you that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in my world. I had previously written, “Unfortunately, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies,” but I honestly appreciate that it isn’t.
Depression. Depression is difficult for me to write about, but not difficult for me to talk about. Weird considering I can write about pretty much everything. I guess writing about it makes me feel very vulnerable and weak, but somehow talking about it makes me feel empowered. I’m all sorts of weird, I know.
The thought about sharing my struggle with depression through text recently came to mind. I quickly shooed it from my thoughts as I didn’t think I would ever write about it. I try to keep my blog very positive. The reality of it is, life is never really always positive, especially mine. I have many explanations to why I’m so emotional and easily stressed: I’m a Pisces, I’m a female, I’m a mom, and the list goes on. I think it just comes down to being a human. We all have an emotional side to us whether we want to believe it or not, whether we nurture it or not. Some of us are more in touch with it than others (waaaaay more in touch). Others are hard as a rock denying themselves a good cry every chance they get.
Anyways, I was inspired to write about this because there have been people around me struggling to feel inspired and motivated. They’re in a slump, some worse than others. I know how it feels and it sucks. I’ve had my bottoms. My moments of intense darkness. I want them to know it will be over. Keep trucking through it….I’m getting off subject, so before I prematurely get on my soapbox, let me get back on track.
Interacting with people can teach you a lot about yourself. It’s a beautiful thing. These individuals have unknowingly made me feel empowered to share some of my struggles not only in my daily personal life, but on a broader scale such as here on my blog. Scary thought, but here it goes.
My depression started at the young age of 10. I vividly remember being confined to a wheelchair for about 3 months after having major surgery on both of my feet. I was homeschooled during this time because my elementary school didn’t have wheelchair access, and I needed to heal. I felt cut off from my entire life (because at that age, your social life is your life). This was the beginning of a pretty dark time for me. I was going through a physical healing, but an emotional injury.
It’s so easy for me to think of my past self as pathetic and weak as I write about it now, but when I emotionally put myself back in that state, my heart quickly jumps out of it. I overcame that point in my life for a reason – to never go back to it. I know that puberty had a lot to do with my depression after that. The emotional fluctuations of a teenager are hard to put up with as an outsider, just imagine being the one going through it. Not being able to explain why you hate the world, why you want to die, SUCKS! Not only does it frustrate you, but everyone around you too.
My mom placed me in therapy during my early high school years. It was during this time that I was diagnosed “bipolar” (now I think it was just my hormones acting crazy during puberty). I saw a psychiatrist, was put on meds, got a bunch of brain tests done, became a cutter and was suicidal, and was just plain out of tune with life. This is the gist of my early struggle with depression. My eyes were always swollen, long sleeves came in handy, and I was inconsolable. My life was so beautiful, yet I couldn’t see all the beauty that surrounded me. I was the living, walking Eeyore, constantly being followed by that dark cloud. Reflecting on it all now, I was the one following the cloud. Remember that “misery loves company”. There couldn’t be anymore truth to this statement. It lures you in.
As much as it sucks to be depressed, sad, angry, overwhelmed, anxious, or frustrated, these have actually been the emotions to teach me the most about life. About myself and others. I am a firm believer in being as grateful for the obstacles (if not a tiny bit more grateful) as we are for our successes. Our characters grow from obstacles, or they fail. If we fail, what’s to say there won’t be another obstacle to make you grow even more? Life is a beautiful balance like that. Whatever goes up comes back down and goes right back up, but don’t forget there will be another down. When jumping on a trampoline, you never only go up or come back down. It’s an inseparable pair. You can dance alone, but it’s much more fun to dance with at least one other person. This is the case here. The ups need the downs to really look beautiful, and vice versa.
I guess this didn’t have to really be negative. I guess, I have overcome that major hump in my life and have grown immensely, in my personal opinion. I’m very happy to know that. I guess becoming a mom made a huge impact on me. “I became a grown-up when I had kids,” said no one ever. Who said you have to “grow up” completely when you have kids? I’ve come to understand that I’m growing right alongside Little Nugget, I just happen to be years of experience ahead of him. I am a leader growing alongside my tribe, that is growing alongside a village. There will be pain, discomfort, doubt, but in the end all of the forces work together to make it work. To make it balanced.
If you happen to be feeling trapped in a hole, define something you are passionate about (be honest with yourself), and give that area some love. Put your heart into it, and what I mean by this is, learn about yourself while you do it. Reflect on your life. Step outside of your head and let your heart take over. You’d be surprised how strong your heart is. Use your passion as a meditation station. Breath lots, and smile often…even if you don’t have the strength to.
Cheers to overcoming obstacles!