Because conversations around mental health are important.
The thing about depression is that sometimes you don’t even know somebody’s depressed. There’s a survival technique I’ve conquered where I can compartmentalize if I’m distracted enough and completely block my tragic reality out of my mind in order to function. Now that it’s the holidays, it’s getting a little harder.
Throughout the past few months, I’ve experienced the worst depression has to offer and even though I’ve wrestled with depression in the past, this time is very different – maybe because it’s due to a loss, an out-of-order death that is a part of who I am now. From pain in my heart so deep that it truly aches to mornings I can’t stop the tears, I’ve been shocked to learn that my mind also has the ability to question why I’m still even on this Earth. Sometimes, grief overcomes me.
My husband’s strength, love and support has been carrying the version of me who’s full of emotion. Along with my family, friends, therapist and yoga practice, which I always dedicate to her. My work on the other hand, has been carrying the version of me who removes herself from these emotions. My work is my passion, setting and achieving goals is in my DNA and my industry and audience are so incredibly supportive, that it feels good to work.
Throughout the past few months I’ve also laughed so hard with Joe that I almost cried, real belly laughs. I’ve become excited about new opportunities of personal and professional growth for 2019 and have even found joy in adopting a new puppy for example. Yet, I’m deeply hurt. Depression and grief go hand-in-hand, but what I’m learning is that it’s more the grief that I’m working through than depression that I’m battling.
I wanted to share, because I know there are many, many people who suffer from depression and others who many equate depression to weakness. It’s not a weakness unless you let it be. It’s something each have the ability to face in whichever way we choose and for some it’s harder than others. I’ve never known the holidays through any other lens but joy, but this year the season equates to a reminder of loss and what “should have” been. My heart hurts. And now I see another version of this season that others face year after year and my heart hurts for them also.
I’ll never forget what my spiritual advisor said, “In order to experience the greatest joys, you must suffer the deepest sorrows.” I hold onto that with hope and welcome people who understand to share with open arms.