Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Riding The Roller Coaster - My Journey Through Depression

Depression for me is like a roller coaster ride. It moves slowly at first and then, whoosh, down it goes and then faster it goes up the track. It twists and turns and back down and then up faster and faster. It loops and curves and then, it stops. The depressive moments come out of the blue, literally and take hold just as fast as a roller coaster moving along it’s track.  I don’t play with roller coasters and they don’t appreciate me. I don’t care for amusement parks only due to the mass congestion of people. I do like the exhibits and some of the food, but I have not been to our yearly fair in over 30 years. That is a set up for a major anxiety attack.  Can you relate?

Since April 6, 2016, my journey with depression and anxiety has been eye opening and down-right traumatic. The sadness, the dread, the idea that if I have to talk to anyone or go anywhere makes me want to revert back into my cave.  Don’t get me wrong, I talk all day working in a call center, which I have been doing for many years.  I do smile and laugh with my co-workers and speak to people who pass by. I have the ability to encourage others, but I cannot encourage myself. I cannot seem to come out of that dark abyss once I am there. I would rather be left alone to my own thoughts and creations or the lack.  The desire to cry chokes me. The urge to scream ushers in rage. The shear dread of anxiety makes me want to run as fast as the speed of light. Yeah, well I have not been given that super power, yet. Sometimes a menial task is overwhelming.  It’s not as if I zoned out and lost touch with reality, no, it is that I am exhausted mentally and physically.  Sleep is a curse word because I don’t do that task well and being a hyper insomniac does not help. The narcotics don’t help unless I want to double or triple up and possibly over dose, nawww not doing that, awake I stay.

My life for the past few months have been mentally turned upside. I no longer feel like myself and what I am feeling is causing me to question myself on a daily basis.  I have become more reserved than what is normal for me. To be honest I would like to disappear, but hey, that super power has missed me too. Abracadabra! LOL. I have been told that talking about mental illness is scary.  I hear others say, I don’t want anyone in my business, or I don’t want to be labeled as crazy, I am not talking to a shrink. Well, you know what is scarier? Losing control of your emotions in public. Driving and having an anxiety attack. Being paralyzed by some unrealistic fear. Feeling as if you are alone and not one person loves or understands you. Not being able to get out of your bed or leave the house. Thoughts of and planning to commit suicide. Now that should be scary and not taken lightly. I have had most of these feelings. So, who cares about a label? Who cares what anyone has to say? That has never been one of my issues, and at this point in my life I don’t care.  So I will advocate and be the poster child for mental illness if need be. I will use my experience as a catalyst to helping others speak out, one voice at a time. Silence does not heal. Being afraid does not heal. Trying to ignore the issues will not make them go away.

Through this journey, I have increased my leaning on God and His word. Today, August 8, 2016 as I write this post, I am praising God for allowing me to see my 54th birthday. I am grateful to know that I serve an all knowing, all seeing, and everywhere God. If it was not for prayer, scripture and the Holy Spirit, I would crumble.  I cannot express enough how important you are to the Almighty. H

My brothers and sisters, are you suffering or do you know someone who is suffering?  Take action. We are capable of doing great things and balancing mental illness is no different. There is nothing we cannot do, if we really want to. Many will make excuses, many will not do the work or take the steps, keep speaking out and being transparent. GET HELP! I take medication and meet with a mental health specialist. I Let me tell you, it is one of the best things I could have done and I don’t regret it.  The only cage that can hold you hostage is the cage that you allow to hold you hostage. Take the steps. Do the work.

Be Blessed