“I have reached yet another milestone in my life. On September 5th, 2012 I began a journey that came to me unexpectedly, unplanned, and out of the blue. It took my breath away, and for a moment I thought it took my dreams away. As I traveled down this unfamiliar road, I was forced to view life through a different lens – the lens of someone who had their life flash before their eyes. Back then I would have never imagined that I would be living the life that I am now. I have accomplished more than I imagined. I have met people who have changed my life for the better and now have a special place in my heart. And I can see who I am more clearly now. I no longer walk this life with a blindfold on and it’s all thanks to the love, care, and support from a group of extraordinary humans. But the journey came with it’s own set of challenges.
When I began my journey through healing, the first step was acknowledging my demons. My demons were things that triggered me and pushed me further into depression. It trapped me. Things like sleeping to avoid the world, having a pity party inside my head, faking my emotions, and internalizing everything were my traps. Once I got the ball rolling with one of those, it would only get worse. Most of the time it felt like I had no reason to feel sad. It was just an emotion I felt but could not explain. It was as if some other being was living inside me, and it was deeply in love with the darkness. And for the longest I could not separate myself from that other being. I would get so fixated on the emotions and it would tear me up inside. I would break down and cry my heart out, start hyperventilating, and then I’d fall asleep. I used to feel like my whole world had been crushed and I wanted no part of it. It was like that for years. But then I went to therapy and my desire to live grew day by day.
Once I learned my traps (or triggers) I realized that the version of myself that was in love with the darkness didn’t have to define me. So, once I identified these traps I fought endlessly. I quickly realized that no one was going to save me but myself. Part of me wanted to continue drowning in my black waters, but instead I kept pushing. I had goals and ambitions I didn’t want to give up on. Most importantly I had loved ones who I didn’t want to give up on.
So, to you my dear clients:
How do you stop the depression from growing once you recognize the traps? Well, if I could go back to those times, I would look myself dead in the eyes and say, “Stop listening.” I would say stop giving power to the being inside that’s trying to control you. Fight back, ask for help, and welcome them in.”
And if you’re someone who doesn’t understand depression but feel desperate to help a loved one, then the best advice I can give you is to help them find the right support. It doesn’t matter how much you want to help them if they don’t want your help. It’s not personal. Don’t walk away. Offer your assistance and be there for them. From personal experience, advice from family and friends is overwhelming ESPECIALLY because I am hyper aware of how to help myself, what not to do, and what to do. Personally, talking to a therapist is the best thing for me. Everyone has something that works for them. Help them find it. Be a listening ear. Be a shoulder. Be adamant about helping them find support if you think it’s serious. Educate yourself on the issue and learn how to be an advocate for mental illnesses. It needs to stop being white elephant in the room and it needs to stop being romanticized!
*This is a compilation of my past writings on depression.*