I’ve never really written about this. But today I have to.
This morning I got a text from a precious friend. She’s bad ass. Really.
She’s been battling depression and bipolar and she’s kicking ass the best way she knows how. But it’s wearing her down. And for some reason her text really hit me this morning. I wanted nothing more than to hop a flight to Canada and go hug her and hold her hand. I love you friend. I’m so so proud of you.
I’m angry because she isn’t the only one who’s touched my life lately with this. And it isn’t fair.
There’s others. And it makes me so sad that these beautiful mamas have to deal with this.
The bottom line is this: depression is very real. And it sucks. And it isn’t just a mood or a way of thinking or being “blue.”
Depression is like a very large black cloud that follows you everywhere. The cliches that they show on the commercials about being sad while everyone is having fun at the party? True. Wanting to cry for no apparent reason and just feeling down? Yup, that’s depression.
What’s worse is that you can’t understand it till you realize what it is. Everything around you may be going swimmingly. Work, family, everything. You may have the loves of your life surrounding you daily and you just feel off, no matter how many kisses you get at the end of a long day.
Getting ready for a week in the Magic Kingdom? YAY!!! Then why are you sad?
luckily I recognize the signs in myself.
You may think that there is absolutely no reason you feel the way you do, but you do and you can’t help it. You wonder what’s wrong with you. You think that it’s normal. Or at least, you may begin to accept that it is probably your new normal.
But it’s not.
There is help. There is treatment. And THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH SEEKING IT OUT. Depression doesn’t make you less of a person. It doesn’t make you dumb. It doesn’t make you less capable of handling life.
There doesn’t have to be a triggering event. I didn’t suffer from depression after I lost my mom. It actually wasn’t till much later that I did. And then it was under control and it came back.
A dear friend once wrote a note that said:
Because some days are bad, some days are good, but I love you EVERY DAY.
I look at that note on the wall next to me daily. Such a great reminder. Be that friend to someone who needs it. If you know someone that is battling depression, reach out to them. Show them they are cared for. Show them they are worth it. Because they so so are.
There is such a stigma attached to depression and mental health issues and there shouldn’t be. It’s probably half the reason I never really talked about it here. You don’t want people to look at you funny. “See her? She has depression. Poor dear.” Or maybe worse, like thinking you’re crazy.
Because at the end of the day, depression is a very real medical condition. Luckily some of us are able to keep it under control with medication. But some of my dear friends haven’t been so lucky and their struggle continues. And to them, I say:
You are so worth it.
You are LOVED.
If YOU are battling depression or think you may be? Call your doctor! I promise they’ve heard worse, don’t be embarrassed. And never, ever be ashamed of who you are or what you are facing. You are not alone.
If you think you may be fighting depression, check out Katherine’s site: Postpartum Progress. It is an AMAZING resource. Even if you aren’t postpartum, the signs of depression and anxiety in that list are real world examples. For depression facts and figures, you can also visit PBS.org for some great information.