Sunday, May 15, 2016

Preplexed - My Journey of Depression

As I close out my day, I am sitting here thinking about the journey I am on. Being diagnosed with clinical depression is one of wonder and curiosity, frustration and bewilderment, anger and fear. Since that dreadful day, April 6, 2016, I have found myself embarked on a journey of seeking knowledge and understanding about this illness.

I woke up this morning with a strong desire to cry, scream and shout. I had a dread in my spirit that tried to consume me. I needed to clean a little, but as I started, I got stuck and had to sit down. Knowing that depression will cause you to shut down, I forced myself to accomplish my intended task. This was extremely hard mentally and physically. The dark cloud that loomed kept sounding the alarm beckoning me to stay in bed. I fought it and today ended up a good day. I willed myself to get up and get out. I took in two hours at the gym and got my one load of laundry done. Though my eating is slim to none, I did toss some chicken wings in the oven, no side dishes, it would have went to waist, I have no taste for anything in particular. Funny thing depression, it does affect every aspect of your being. One minute I feel at ease and in the next, anxious for no reason apparent.  Yet, I still managed to be awake and present in my thoughts.

This week I will have my second counseling session, and I must say, I am looking forward to it. Lisa seems to be very personable and easy to talk with.  All I know is that this thing will not beat me.  I cannot allow this to take over, the God in me cannot allow it.  Though my interest in the things I truly enjoy are not interesting at this time, I press forward keeping before me the joy, the peace, the will to understand. I allow myself to be still in the moment and just let it be all the while knowing that no matter what, I may be plagued and perplexed, I am okay and this too will pass.

As I gain knowledge and take in the information about depression, I am thankful to God that I do not have a desire to harm myself as so many who has suffered have. I love living and even though my living today may be rocky, clouded, and unpredictable, I relish in knowing that God is my comfort. Though I take medication, I am thankful that it is not leaving me in a state of deadness, for if it had, I would not take it. I find solace in knowing that I am not alone on this journey and even for a little while I do have peace.

Psalm 40:2 NLT - He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

My bothers and sisters, I can not tell you how devastating this journey is for me, what I can tell you is that I am scared to death of the unknown of this illness. Though I am scared, I fueled by the desire to do my part in helping myself to be the best I can be. If you feel that you are dealing with depression, do not ignore it. Do not take lightly that this is an illness and just like cancer, there is treatment though it may not be a cure. Rest assured that if not addressed, depression can be devastating for you and those who love you.  Stick around as I share my journey.

Be Blessed

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Up Jumps The Wall - My Journey of Depression

I am still here. You may have been wondering, where is she? My last post was April 3, 2016.  Well, let me tell you, I have been on a journey. I am suffering from depression, medication and all that comes with it. I have not been able to write, read, let alone function clearly due to the wall I crashed into, or should I say, the wall that crashed into me.  It has been a month now, and I am doing much better, but this journey is what it is. I can only take the one day at a time granted me by the Father.  The post you are about to read is what I wrote a few days after that dreadful day, April 6th. 

My brothers and sisters, depression is real. The masks that we as African-American men and woman have been conditioned to wear must be removed. We must allow the process of life to flow through us no matter how it looks and while life is flowing, we must acknowledge who we are and what it is for us. Wearing the super cape, putting on the vibrant smile, saying we are okay when in fact we are not cannot continue to be our mantra. I will be penning my journey of depression in the hopes that in my words and transparency, you will see that in many ways we all suffer and if not checked, can be horrific not only for you but for those who love you. Stay tuned, its about to get real, up close and personal. My voice. My journey with depression. I would love to hear from you.

I absolutely do not know where to start in writing this blog.  The past month has been eye opening.  On April 6, 2016, I crashed face first in a wall; a wall of depression.  Out of nowhere, the emotions of dread and despair gripped my shoulders and made its attempt to slam me unconscious. One minute I am fine and the next, completely shattered.  Tears flowing, throat closing, and hand trembling, shattered. Sound familiar? Are you in denial that you too have hit the wall of depression? Well listen up, depression is serious and it is time that you get up and get busy getting the help you need to be the best you that you can be, without the mask.

I want to say thank you to you, my followers. I want you to know that I do not take it lightly the many views and comments I receive for sharing what is laid on my heart.  Again, thank you.

No one would ever know unless I told them that I suffer from depression. Mask.  I smile, laugh, and crack all kinds of jokes in an effort to keep the atmosphere light. Mask. I press through many situations and I intentionally ignore that which I cannot change with my hands. Mask. There is the problem. Though one can appear happy on the outside, the inside is in total chaos. Chair flipping, table tossing chaos.  I am in that space. For the past few weeks I have felt the rise and fall of all emotion and on April 6th, the head of depression reached the top showing all teeth marks of despair. Today, I fully admit and acknowledge that I need help and help is in motion.  Praise God for His grace, mercy and wisdom.

The myth that Christians do not suffer and should not suffer from depression is a lie, and to pretend that there is nothing wrong only further cracks the window pane like the vale ripped from top to bottom.  Millions of men, women, and children suffer from depression, and most are suffering in silence. Most are afraid to open up pandora’s box on their lives and release. Society will have you stuck if you remain under that mask of delusion. I’m on a new journey. A journey to understanding and not ignoring. A journey of improved self-care. A journey of opening my mouth and putting the world on notice that I experience this zig in my zag, that I will not go down without a fight and fight I will.

As I write this post, my body is on a course all its own. The tears want to fall and I cannot tell you why. The anxiety that comes and gives no introduction. My passions and desires seem far off into the distance running from me, while I eagerly run from them too. I drag myself to the mic daily, refusing to offer eye contact to the life I live and the dreams embedded in my soul. No, I could care less about any of it, even unto death I can walk of the stage, no standing ovation needed. Carmella, my doctor asked me a question: if I knew that I would go to sleep and not wake up, would I be okay with it. Resounding YES. This gave her pause as it would many.  You see, my comfort in death comes from my joy in Christ, nothing more. No, I am not suicidal. No I don’t have the urge to hurt myself, but I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t mind slapping the taste out of few mouths just to feel the vibration from my hand. To feel the exhilaration in knowing, I just knocked someone out. Pressing pause, I step back and take a deep breath, shoot stop breathing all together. Close my eyes and offer up a two-word prayer, HELP LORD!

With the sun shining and the temperature in the 70’s, I could easily stay in my room with the mini blinds shut, but I will myself to open them. I could easily and without hesitation shut myself off from the world, and for an introvert this is easy to do, but I have that conversation with myself. The body aches and emotional drain are enough to cause one to give up and I see how easily it can happen. But, the resolve deep down inside of me shouts and rakes it fingernails across the chalkboard demanding my attention, so my eyes look to the heavens, and I pause.  More to come, stay tuned.

Be Blessed