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 Fear of Starting Over

Falling deeply, madly in love with someone is a petrifying experience. The vulnerability that you feel is most terrifying. However, the love that you have for that person is worth all of the anxiety you feel. You want to spend the rest of your life with this person and the thought of living without them causing you unmeasurable pain. To hear those four words, “Will you marry me?” is something most women will long to hear. Unfortunately, for me, I didn’t get my happily ever after.

After a completely romantic proposal that was everything from my wildest dreams quickly came crashing down on me. I found out not even a month later that the love of my life wasn’t ready to get married. To say I was devastated would’ve been an understatement.  He felt pressure from his family to propose and he claimed he didn’t want to keep me waiting for a proposal. To be honest, I never pressured him and at that time I was so in love I would’ve waited forever for him. However, what he failed to realize was his deception would cause residual effects that I’m still experiencing today.

I was so hurt, confused, mislead, and most importantly I felt unworthy of love. How could someone who claimed to love me hurt me this way? I lost all faith in people especially when it came to men. Every person whom I came in contact with was scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. I got involved in situations that I had no business being in. Remember what I said last week, “Hurt people will always hurt others around them.” I was involved with men who were horrible for me, but I let my fear of desperation get the best of me.

Everyone kept telling me that I needed to start dating again. People don’t understand how it feels to go from being engaged to newly single. You often wonder if you will ever find love again or if marriage will ever be a possibility. Also, it doesn’t help that I had a few bad relationships since my engagement ended. I started to experience a serious bout of depression. I didn’t want to interact nor did I want to be around family and friends. I started to distance myself from the people who know me best because I was ashamed to admit what was taking place in my life. My depression had spiraled out of control that I even attempted suicide. At this point, I knew I needed help and I wasn’t going to be able to deal with all these emotions on my own.

The next step for me was attending therapy. This was a scary thing for me to do, but overall I made the best decision possible. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for therapy. I had to learn how to love me again and not to look to someone else for my happiness. This is something that I am responsible for and I am the person that can change the course of my life. Therapy helped me to realize that each experience in life is a lesson learned. Things will be okay if they don’t work out as life goes on. It will be devastating of course, but not life-threatening.

The biggest lesson of all that I learned is that forgiveness is most important. Forgiveness is more for you than the other person. As cliché as it sounds, it is so true. It means letting go of past hurt in order to move forward in your life. From my therapy sessions, I became a stronger and wiser woman. I’m so proud of the person I am today. If you need therapy for any reason, don’t be afraid to seek treatment. You never know how it could change your life.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know that I’m finally ready for it. It took a long time, but I can’t wait to see the outcome. Starting over is an overwhelming task, but it can be the most rewarding experience. Give yourself a chance to see how it goes. You never know what may be waiting for you around the corner.