I write a lot about having depression and reaching out to get support but it has come to my attention that when Iâ€™m the one struggling I donâ€™t reach out often. Maybe to my mom, husband and best friend but with everyone else I put on a happy face while inside it feels like Iâ€™m dying. I think itâ€™s important I talk about the dark while Iâ€™m in it.
It started a couple weeks ago. I wasnâ€™t being honest with myself about how things were going. I happen to have a therapy appointment and one with my psychiatrist that week so I let it all hang out. It felt good to come clean and it was decided I would get an ECT treatment ASAP. I scheduled it for next Friday so in the meantime I made an impromptu visit to my parentsâ€™ lake house. The kids were dying to get out of the house and I figured it would do me good as well. While the kids had a blast, I didnâ€™t fare as well. I can remember one night eating steak with my parents and I was staring at the bright pink steak knife that cut the steak so well. I wondered how it would feel down my arms. Later, I told my mom to just hide the knives.
I decided to chat on the suicide lifeline messaging system. The lady was asking my history and as I told her that I had major depressive disorder, anxiety, Iâ€™ve done ECTs, been to a psychiatric facility, etc. She the said, â€œWow, youâ€™re a fighter.â€ Though I know itâ€™s the truth, itâ€™s not something Iâ€™ve heard a lot through my life. Iâ€™ve heard Iâ€™m lazy, that Iâ€™m basically useless, but not a fighter.
But I fight everyday. For my kids, my husband, my family, my amazing friends who support me no matter how depressed I am or how unwashed my hair is. And I know sometimes Iâ€™ll fall back on the idea that being mentally ill makes you weak, but I canâ€™t stress enough how thatâ€™s total and utter bullshit. And then Iâ€™ll remember that Iâ€™m a Phoenix rising from the ashes, that Iâ€™ll regenerate and will continue to be born again. Because Iâ€™m a fighter and I will continue to fight like hell, even though it sucks, even though itâ€™s hard, even though it tires my soul. If anything, I need to show my children that there are many ways to be strong. And that itâ€™s ok if youâ€™re different than others. Itâ€™s even ok if you need to go to a mental health hospital. And that self care is a necessity and doesnâ€™t make you selfish. Iâ€™ve tried pouring from an empty cup and it got me nowhere (technically it got me to the mental hospital) so even though my journey is a messy one, my kids can still appreciate it one day. I hope.
If you need help, I highly recommend either calling the National Suicide Lifeline or using their chat function. Call them at 1-800-273-8255