People are always so worried about the stigma. They only think that you lay on a couch and continuously asked, “and how does that make you feel?”
Well guess what, you’re wrong.
We were halfway through January and for the first time in a very long time I went home from school with with a fever, nauseous, and dizzy. I couldn’t see straight and struggled even driving home. When I made it home, I immediately crawled into bed and did not get out of bed for at least 24 hours and that was just to take a quick shower then I crawled right back into bed. I just slept and slept and slept.
My fever had finally subsided, the dizziness and nausea disappeared but I still found myself not wanting to leave my bed. Not wanting to talk to anyone. Feeling this extreme heaviness on my chest. I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted to be alone. I wanted nothing to do with the world.
Photo by JP Photography
Monday morning I woke up early to workout before work thinking that has always helped my mood. . . being surrounded by like minded people is intoxicating. As the workout started I didn’t feel the usual “LET’S GO” mentality. I had ZERO motivation. The weight on my chest became heavier and heavier where tears began to roll down my cheek.
I wanted to quit.
I wanted to walk out of the gym. I didn’t want to walk, I wanted to sprint out of there as quick as I could. But I told myself that I am not a quitter. I have never and will NEVER quit anything. . .especially ME.
I finished the workout, but not at the same intensity that I always bring to any workout. I quickly went home to shower and get ready for school. I had to hold back tears in the shower, while getting ready, and while I was saying goodbye to my family for the day. All I wanted to do was call in sick and lay in bed and cry/sleep all day. But I knew I couldn’t.
Why did I want to cry? I have no idea. There was no explanation to the feelings I was experiencing. I just felt alone. Not because of anything or anyone.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety for MANY years of my life before I was even diagnosed with Alopecia. I believe it is from years of being bullied throughout middle school and high school. Some people just made my life a living hell. Those years made me so incredibly self-conscious that have had a long term effect on my life.
Yes. I have grown and become stronger a stronger woman throughout my life, but those terrible words still haunt me to this day. I know I am better than that, but I am still human.
Depression is a serious disease that affects over ALL walks of life regardless of their background. 332 MILLION people worldwide suffer from depression. AND that is only those who have been diagnosed!! There are MILLIONS who are afraid of the stigma that surrounds mental health issues because they see depression as a sign of weakness.
There is NOTHING weak about depression. ESPECIALLY when one half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. YOU ARE NOT WEAK. Do not allow a “stigma” to hold YOU back from getting the help you so desperately need.
So back to my Monday. . .
When I got to school I immediately went to talk to a good friend who is also one of our amazing school guidance counselors. I closed her door and told her that I need help. I asked her is she had a name of a therapist that could help me. I needed help.
It was as though she knew I was coming down to her office. It was as though she read my mind immediately. She felt my pain. I wasn’t alone. I walked out of her office with a sense of relief.
I was going to get some help. Depression/anxiety will not EVER make me weak. I will get help and I did get help.
As women. As mothers, we put SO much DAMN pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mom. To be Betty fricking “Pinterest worthy” Crocker, to have the beautiful Joanna Gaines home that is PERFECTLY clean all the time, to have well behaved children, to have the perfect body and look put together . . . all the time.
Do you ever feel like this? Well, guess what. . .
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am here to tell you that my house is messy all the damn time, laundry is covering half my couch (either folded or unfolded) for at least a week, there is always crap on my stairs, dishes in the sink, random SH$T all over our kitchen table and island. Half the time I don’t even know where some of it comes from. I feel like I am yelling at my kids more than I am cuddling with them. We eat out more nights than we eat at home. If feels as though my girls spend more time in the gym than they do in their own beds and I forget about show and tell all the damn time!!! Plus if you haven’t notice, I cuss all the time!! (Ofcouse, not around the girls. Okay, maybe in a blue moon.)
BUT GUESS WHAT?!?!
My daughters are alive and breathing. I may walk away from my child if they are screaming their head off so much that they make themselves vomit (true story, happened last week) or I might be continuously yelling at the girls to stop hitting each other, but I still love them. My daughters are so smart and so loving. My oldest is building a cardboard rollercoaster all around her bedroom and my youngest daughter will say “Mommy, I love you” ALL the time!! Even though sometimes it is followed up with a “I am going to toot on you.”
I am being the best damn mom I know how I can be. I strive to be a woman and mom like my mother every day.
I battle depression and anxiety. I strive to be better person and mom than I was yesterday. I know I am nowhere close to being Joanna Gaines (and who knows, maybe she is dealing with the same crap we are) or any other woman on Instagram but I am do the best job I possibly can!
I am strong enough to recognize when I need help. I am strong enough to ask for help when I know I truly need it. ( I know I could do this a lot more in my life though.)
It is okay have depression. It is okay to have anxiety. You are just like millions and millions of others in this world. Best part is YOU made the decision to ask for help.