"One small crack does not mean that you are broken. It means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart."
- Linda Poindexter
Yet again, I'm back.
I seem to come back here when I am struggling more often than not…but it helps me to share my story…to reach out…to let people know the face of mental illness is everywhere and that others who are suffering are not alone.
I don't feel obligated…but I do feel compelled. I know that the stigma still exists and I know it needs to stop.
I choose to share with others in hopes of reaching people who are also struggling - especially those who feel that they can't share.
And make no mistake. Even I am afraid of sharing.
It is scary to be completely vulnerable and put yourself out there. But as more and more people do it…the better things will become. The more people will share.
The more people will feel safe to do so.
As a recap, I suffer from anxiety and depression. It goes up and down. I have gotten pretty good at hiding it…but I'm tired. I'm exhausted in fact.
Trying to be a quality mother, employee, friend, daughter, girlfriend and all the other roles I play becomes very trying and almost impossible.
By this, I mean that I am not me when I am not well.
That is…I don't feel like me.
And once again, the black dog is lurking.
Perhaps this is getting monotonous to read. Maybe I am just repeating myself using slightly different words.
But that's OK.
I do this to keep my voice loud enough to be heard by someone…anyone…who needs to hear someone who understands.
Waking up with anxiety so bad it causes vomiting more days than not is not OK.
Breaking down in tears at the office when trying to do a job helping other people with other very serious health issues is also not OK.
That is why I am back to putting my health first. I am seeking the best help that I can and I am committed to feeling better. Life is too precious and important to not feel happy.
And there is nothing I love more than being happy…sharing happiness…spreading positivity…and enjoying life.
I know many, many people who struggle. It is so common. But many don't talk about it because of the fear.
Fear of being labelled as their illness.
Fear of being judged.
Fear of being seen as weak.
But fighting depression and anxiety is not for the weak.
You have to use every ounce of strength you have - like fighting any other disease.
Reach out. Seek help. Talk to your doctor. Talk to your friends that you trust.
Life does not have to be like this.
I know because I have fought before and have gotten better.
And I'm gonna do it again.
2017 has not started as well as I thought it would…but there is still lots of time to make it a life-changing year.
I have a wonderful family, beautiful children, a loving boyfriend and supportive friends.
I have a roof over my head and food on my plate.
I have so much love to give and share and so much more life to live.
We all have struggles in life. None of us are immune.
We just need to hug our loved ones tighter. We need to use the resources available to us.
And most of all we must advocate for our own health and well being.
I'm right here cheering you on - and I promise you that others will be too if you let them in.
The sun is bright enough to pass though even the darkest cloud.
Love and strength to you all.