Battle with Depression

I’m writing this in complete shock of what transpired with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time. I’ve been reading a lot of comments regarding this situation, and everyone keeps saying how they don’t understand how Kate and Anthony got to this point. The comments are beyond hurtful as many people don’t know how mental illness and depression can alter your emotions. You will have mood swings, and thoughts of suicide can occur. These thoughts take place over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is a constant battle of trying to get better and pretending that you’re okay. It is a private hell that I don’t wish on anyone. My intention with this post is to shed some light on this subject. The insensitivity I’m seeing is all the more reason why it’s essential to have this conversation. With many prayers and conversations with myself, I decided to share my own story. I have reservations about it, but I think it’s critical that I put my feelings aside. If this story can save one life, then it will be all worth it. Most importantly I hope that someone out there will think before they bully or judge someone. You have no idea what that person is dealing with or if the night before unsuccessfully (Thank God) tried to commit suicide.

My first experience with depression started when I was a teenager. I experienced a traumatic event in my life which prompted this. I didn’t properly learn how to process and deal with my emotions. I sought help, but the first therapist that I interacted with wasn’t helpful. She made me feel as if the situation was my fault. I was already blaming myself, so this situation just pushed me over the edge. I had so much pent-up aggression inside that I just wanted it to be released. I begin to self-harm as a way to cope with my emotions. Of course, this didn’t help at all, and my pain only intensified as time went on. The pain was becoming unbearable to the point where suicide was viewed as the best option. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my struggles with anyone. When I would explain my issues with family, I would hear you don’t have anything to be sad about, or you need to pray more. Not sure why people think hearing that would be helpful in some way. Of course, this does nothing to cure your depression or boost your self-esteem. I kept myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. All I did was mask the pain I was dealing with, but it did nothing to cure the depression I was feeling. My family and friends thought I was okay because I did an excellent job of hiding my emotions.

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I am a very great actress, and I hid it very well. I don’t want to come across as weak or complaining, so I keep things to myself. When I did open up to the family, I didn’t get the support I was seeking. They were listening to me, but they didn’t understand what I was feeling. In their mind, I was a teen, and this is what teens deal with, so you will grow out of it. This thinking was wrong as I didn’t grow out of it and it only became worse. When you first open up about your feelings and don’t  receive a heartfelt response, you decide to not speak on it anymore. Everybody wants to be understood so when that doesn’t occur it’s easier to keep your thoughts to yourself. Depression followed me well into my adulthood, and I still struggle with it daily. Happy events were occurring in my life, but I was battling my own demons that I couldn’t enjoy it. I know I wasn’t the most relaxed person to date during that time as I was suffering in silence. I was going through the motions of life and being miserable at the same time. I got to the point when ending it all was the best option just to alleviate the noise in my head. This is when I unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and I’m so incredibly grateful it was unsuccessful.

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I went to work the next day as if nothing happened the night before. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had a horrible day at work, and my coworkers had no idea the previous night I had. At that point is when I decided to seek therapy again. I know you are wondering the first attempt didn’t work out so why try it again? I knew that I couldn’t do this alone and who better to see but a professional. I met an excellent therapist and credited her with helping to save me from myself. I had been a broken person all these years. My inner child never fully healed, so she became an adult without the emotional coping skills necessary in life. Even though I was an adult emotionally, I was still a teen, and that version of myself was the one making the decisions. Until I learned to heal that inner child, I would never be able to move forward. Those were the skills I learned in therapy, and that’s why I’m here today. With her guidance, I was able to finally heal my inner child and gain the closure I desperately needed for that chapter in my life.

I am a stronger, healthier person now because of therapy. I am a massive advocate for treatment, and I encourage anyone who needs healing to get it. After speaking about my struggles, I noticed that some family and friends are going through similar issues. Being preoccupied with how I came across, I never thought that maybe there are people who understand me. When you are in your head too much, you don’t reason with reality. My family and friends are more than willing to help me if I would let them in my world. Therapy taught me that I need to stop building walls around myself and be open to people as everyone isn’t going to hurt me. I don’t want anyone to read this story and feel sorry for me. I’m in a much better place, and this experience has only made me stronger. I hope that you read this story and it opens your eyes that depression doesn’t have a look. Anyone at any given time could be experiencing depression. If you have a loved one that is struggling even if they give hints, please don’t ignore them. That is their way of asking for help.

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Unfortunately, there is a still a stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Due to that people are still afraid to come forward with their truth. If you are struggling, please feel free to email me even if it’s to vent. I don’t want you to feel alone. Seek treatment and speak to a trusted friend or family member. Use this post as a way to help facilitate a conversation if necessary. Don’t let your struggles get the best of you. There is a way that you can overcome your obstacles don’t be afraid to ask for help. If one person doesn’t listen or give you the response you are seeking keep trying. There are others out there who do so don’t give up. Please share this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and leave your comments below. Let’s continue to add commas to our lives and not a period.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

The Price of Motherhood

During this past week, Cardi B announced her pregnancy with her first child. Congratulations to her as babies are an incredible blessing. The comments that I kept seeing online were appalling to me. Many people were saying that it’s too early in her career to have a child and others were saying that her career will fail once she gives birth. These comments sadden me as comments such as these are never told to men when they become fathers. A man’s career, as well as his life, isn’t impacted at all when becoming a father. In fact, children are not only seen as a blessing but as a way for a man to mature as well. I believe the way that society views men are the reason why their lives don’t change when they become fathers. A man is supposed to be a provider, and if that role is lacking, then he is seen as a deadbeat. Whereas if women have a career and aren’t home, she is looked down upon as an awful mother. Therefore, this way of thinking reinforces the view that women should be in the house with the children. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. However, women shouldn’t be made to feel that still pursuing a career after a baby is wrong to continue.

Due to societal woes and what family may say many women will put their family plans on hold for their careers. I am one of those women as I keep waiting for a perfect time to start a family. I want to make sure that I won’t be an absentee parent. Another major factor is the financial aspect as it is very costly to raise a family. Then you want to be in a two-parent household as it’s essential to raise a child with both parents. The list goes on with how many reasons I could come up with for the waiting game to continue. Of course, waiting too long comes with its own set of challenges, but that’s another post for another day. My main point here is that women feel the need to compartmentalize their entire lives before starting the family. There are no issues with that, but one must recognize that life doesn’t fit neatly in a little box. One must be flexible as life takes on many shapes and sizes. You have to be able to roll with the punches and have faith that everything will work out. If things don’t work out as planned, you will figure out what needs to occur to get you back on track.

What I learned from this Cardi B situation is that there is no right time to do anything. Honestly, if you are waiting for a proper time, you will be waiting forever. Yes, there may be an ideal time to do something, but the way life goes who knows when that will happen. If you are ready to start having your family, then go for it. Others may feel that you are making the wrong decision, but it’s yours to make. Also, don’t believe that you have to give up your hopes and dreams just because you are a mother. Children are a blessing and not a burden. Children can be a great motivator and will energize a woman to work even harder to support her family. Salute to all the women out there who are working hard to take care of their children while still pursuing their dreams. I am proud of you and continue to shine on all these haters out there. Your motherhood is a strength and not a weakness. View motherhood as another form of representation of you but not all that you can do.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)