...That's what it looks like.
What? Not what you pictured?
Are you surprised?
This is me.
I have suffered from depression for over a decade and I have worked my little butt off to cover it up every single day of my life!
Today, has been a very emotional day for me. Today I have admitted to one of my toughest life battles yet and I did it on accident. I went to the clinic today for chest pain I was having this morning. It has happened about 10 times in the last 6 months and though I've discussed it with my docs before, nothing has ever come of it. Today it was worse than ever before, really.. I thought I was dying - think heart attack dying- , and I went straight to see the nurse. Calm as can be, she told me she was pretty certain I was having anxiety attacks. I immediately started crying because I knew.
I was in denial and the jig was up!
We did an EKG (just to be sure I really wasn't having a heart attack) and then the doc and I discussed anxiety, depression, and various other mental illnesses. Though this was not the first time a doctor has told me I suffer from depression, it was the first time I've ever admitted such things to anyone other than my husband. It was scary and yet so liberating. I cried the entire time.
See, I've always known that I've suffered from some form of depression, anxiety, and probably a few other things but I've been in denial. Because I don't want to be crazy! And I've spent a ridiculous amount of time hiding from all of my thoughts and fears, exhausting myself to cover them up. I've been lying to everyone and most importantly myself.
Not only have I been denying a serious illness, I've been depriving myself of help that I seriously need.
All because I don't want to be crazy.
See what labels do.
I debated on whether or not to write this post, because.. well, I was ashamed.
Ashamed for being depressed in the first place. Ashamed that I've been lying about it.
Ashamed that I am not the person I want be. Ashamed that I am not the person others want me to be.
But, I've realized that this IS me. And all I can do is make improvements. So, here I am.. Improving.
The road to peace starts today.
We discussed many possible treatments and for now I've opted out of medications.
Soon I will see a psych and for now I've got these pretty little things.
Leave in acupuncture.
I know.. I feel like a total badass with these babies.
For those of you who have never suffered from a mental illness, I don't expect you to understand. The concept that one would have to battle their own mind is a hard one to grasp. I do however, want you to know that mental illnesses of all forms are very real. And sometimes, such as with my anxiety, they can cause physical pain. Depression is more than just sadness. It's not something that can be changed with the snap of your fingers. Though I want to be truly happy and work hard to be there, it isn't as simple as mind over matter. There are many walls that I need to tear down before I can get there.
I plan to continue posting on this topic as I journey on the road to peace and self acceptance.
I would like to delve into all the things that my mental illness has lead me to such as bouts of anorexia and binge eating, drug use and times of alcohol abuse. Yes.. I know you're surprised. You should be, I've worked so hard to hide all of these shameful things in my life.
I also want to tackle the traumatic events that have helped fuel the fire of depression and anxiety.
And someday, I will be able to really breathe again.
I'm not proud, but the journey starts here.
Today is a new beginning.