Mental health is not openly discussed in a myriad of cultures because of the stigma associated with weakness & being labeled as “crazy,” especially in traditional upbringings. However, behind closed doors, mental health is a real issue many people face, including me.
A few months ago, I briefly & publicly disclosed my history with domestic violence, verbal abuse, & bullying, which played a vast part in my journey with depression. And as someone who had witnessed & battled with depression, the recent suicide stories in the media resonated with me.
Depression does not discriminate & it can manifest in different forms, including addictive behaviors as a way to fill the void & escape from reality, to the point of suicidal planning & ideation.
I haven’t had an episode in years, but last year I had a moment of relapse & I was mentally stuck in a dark place – the familiar feeling of emptiness, loneliness, lost, & unlovable consumed me. A series of incidents pulled me back into that dark, empty hole in my mind – I wasn’t the confident, optimistic woman my family & friends knew.
I have since become more perceptive & self-aware of my triggers. Instead of internalizing my feelings in fear of judgment & social disapprobation, I choose to confront & vocalize my feelings as well as remove myself from toxic situations that provoke me to be in the state of depression. I even had a custom ring made as a reminder to myself that life is a gift & I should choose to LIVE my best life every day.
For those struggling with depression, you’re not alone & there is a way out without resorting to harm yourself & others as a result, & please BELIEVE your life & presence in this world matters.
If you don’t feel comfortable visiting a therapist office or if you don’t have a support system that you feel safe enough to share your feelings & thoughts, below is a couple of alternative options you can seek out.