I am often embarrassed to write or speak about my struggles. I get scared of coming off looking like I’m trying to get attention, or whining, or any of the millions of other things my ‘still cares too much what other people think’ brain comes up with.
How will I get clients?
What if people stop being my friend?
Do I even have a right to be trying to help people when by all accounts I am falling apart?
I don’t know why I have to heal in public, but I do.
I don’t know why I need to share and speak about the real things that I’m going through, but I do.
I guess that part is not entirely true. I do know why. The why is because of the people who reach out to me after reading, thanking me for letting them know they aren’t alone. For the stories that I hear about others struggles and the stories that I hear about how shared experience helped them heal.
That’s why I do this. That’s the number one reason. For myself. For others.
Writing helps me. Sharing helps me. So I have to keep doing it, because of all the things I do, this is number one on my, ‘soul’s purpose’ list.
I can handle the embarrassment or the possibility of turning people off or away from me. I’ve been dealing with that level of humiliation my whole life.
So here is the deal, I am deeply struggling and maybe because I do share my struggles so often it seems like, ‘Okay? And what’s new?’ and maybe that’s true in a way. Maybe I am always struggling a bit, but in general I have it under control.
I use my tools.
I reach out for help.
I do what needs to be done.
And always ALWAYS I lift myself up.
Every year I go through at least one serious bout of depression. It’s never at the same time. I can’t predict when it’s going to come on, but it always comes.
Welp, it’s here.
And it’s been here for quite some time. Like, way too long.
And honestly maybe it’s not even been here for as long as other times, but right now, while I’m knee deep in it, it feels like it’s been lasting forever.
For almost all of September and the first week of October, I was sick with bronchitis and other infections. It forced me to go to the doctor. Something admittedly I’m not great at getting myself to do.
Not because I want to stay sick, just because I most of the time believe I can heal without western medicine. I’ll take herbs from an acupuncturist before I step foot in a doctor’s office (which is what I did and unfortunately this time it did not work).
I hate going to the doctor. I spent all of my youth in doctors offices.
I hate taking medicine. I spent all of my youth taking around 15-20 pills a day.
But the thing I hate the most is that inevitably I know we will be talking about my weight.
I get blind weighed and honestly, so should you. A number should not dictate how we feel. If there is a problem your doctor will tell you, no need to add that anxiety to the list of shit we deal with on a daily basis.
Unfortunately for me, the digital scale my doctor used did not turn off by the time I was on the table. The scale sat there glowing green with that number staring me in the face and I hate to admit it, but it got to me.
It’s an insane thing that a mostly meaningless number can have such an effect. I don’t even think it’s an eating disorder thing. Ask any human and for the most part their weight matters to them, the number matters to them.
It shouldn’t, but it does.
At this point I had been sick for three weeks, was already depressed and in a vulnerable state. When the numbers shined back at me, I closed my eyes and tried to convince myself, “It’s okay. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay.”
Two days later I had a complete breakdown.
My weight, those numbers, were the tipping point.
In this depressive state it was another sign that I had failed.
Now, before you step in here and try and tell me that I did not fail and am not a failure, please know I know this. The difference between reality and depressed reality is huge. I am aware. I am simply sharing the truth of what came up for me at that moment.
I am beyond the point of thinking that I would ever harm myself. The need to binge has been gone for a long time. The thought of killing myself is so far from something I could ever imagine doing again.
I am not suicidal, I repeat, I AM NOT SUICIDAL, however I want this part and this time and these feelings and this overwhelming sense of nothing ever happens for me and everything I do is a failure, to die.
I NEED it to die.
For obviously many reasons but the main one being, it’s not the truth.
Logically I know I am not a failure. I know that success in the career path I’ve chosen takes time effort and luck.
I know that there have been many things beyond my control going on with my body, things that are not my fault.
I know that I am, even in my depressed state, still pushing forward and doing the work and coming up with new ideas and new projects. I even have a new project in the works that I am legitimately incredibly excited about.
At the same time, I am overwhelmed and exhausted and lost and confused and unsure that my dreams will ever come to fruition. I don’t know. I hold on to faith and trust, but I’m getting older and sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s time to throw in the towel. It’s hard and scary to think that someday there could be a time when that happens.
I don’t have a plan B for my life. Being a writer and a person who helps people is it. Getting to a point where I feel good and confident in my body (no matter what size I am) is necessary. Being a person with a voice who wants to be heard on a large scale will always be wanted.
These are the things. This is the future I strive for and it’s scary to think that I may never achieve any of it.
At this point I am not ready to throw in the towel and I will keep trying and putting myself out there and doing new things and dealing with the embarrassment I feel. I know this.
Right now though, right now I am struggling.
I am depressed.
And some of it is situational. A lot of it is due to the state of the world and the country and the fact that every single day it’s non stop terror and tragedy.
I am often too plugged in to the news cycle. But it’s hard not to be. Too much is happening. It’s too much and too overwhelming and it’s making it really hard for me to get out of this depressed state.
So, I’m sharing.
Because, I woke up this morning and didn’t know what to do so I asked myself, “What action step can I take to make myself feel better? To get myself off twitter for a min. To stop watching our asshole president sign away our health care with an executive order. To stop reading more allegations of sexual abuse. To stop looking at images of devastation in Puerto Rico and reading the rising death toll number. To stop seeing that video of white supremacist’s beating the shit out of one of their own in order to blame it on an innocent black man. To stop hearing that prison warden or whoever he is complain about how they’re “letting all the good ones out” in reference to black inmates who he admittedly proclaims they use as worker horses (ie modern slaves). What action step can I take to get away from all of this for a moment?”
And I opened google docs and started to write. Chose to share. And already I feel a bit better, which is all I could ask or hope for.
It's a dark and rough time for many. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. There are a lot of people struggling with depression right now.
To those of you experiencing this, I am with you, I see you, and I am certain we will make it out to the other side of this.
Please share, it doesn't need to be public, but find someone to talk to. Go to a therapist. Reach out to a friend or a loved one.
We can't get through this alone, and there is no need to.
All of my love and support always always ALWAYS.