You know, it’s been ages since I’ve last written one of these. It’s like visiting an old friend; the joys and memories of times gone by, but a grim, real undertone that you know that you won’t see them for a while after you leave. Hopefully, that reality is in fact an illusion, but knowing myself, it probably isn’t. I’ll still look forward to seeing this side of my blog again, and more frequently too 🙂
I’ve come here to talk about a little thing called depression. The truth is that there are many people out there who suffer from it, but either don’t know or refuse to admit it. Some recognize it, but instead of seeking the help they need to overcome it, try to tough it out and end up only hurting themselves more. Most people say things along the lines of “that’ll never happen to me.” The truth is, life happens. Things come our way and they might just deal a number on you, and there’s nothing that can change about that, except how you choose to react to it.
I’m writing this because life has happened to me, with many things and pressures welling up around me. I chose to ‘tough it out’ as well, being hopelessly optimistic and not taking the time to accept, grieve and move forward. Eventually, I became a casualty to depression. I’ve always thought of myself of being a strong person, but I guess even strong people can grow weak after enduring for so long.
Before I continue, I do believe it is prudent of me to issue a few disclaimers. This is not an invitation to a pity party. I do appreciate those who may as a result of this might be concerned, but please; just keep me in your prayers if you wish to do something, instead of rushing over to my aid. I do not wish to glorify this situation and give it any more attention than it needs to be given, but rather glorify Christ, who is my strength in my time of weakness. If you ask me if I’m okay, I will say no. If you ask me why, I will most likely ignore you.
Nevertheless, I do wish to share a few things with you; namely what it feels like for me, and how it affects me. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s like a little shadow man that stands beside you all the time. If you distract yourself you can’t see him, but deep down you know he’s there. You give him the time of day however, and he’s all you can think about. He has a voice, and it’s not easy to ignore. When people compliment you, he convinces you that they’re lying. When bad things happen, he says it’s all your fault. He talks to the voices in your head, and they tell you that you’re worthless. They say you’ll never amount to anything. They say you are the reason for the troubles that your friends face, because you couldn’t do anything to help them. He encourages you to do bad things to make yourself feel better, but if you listen, you just feel guilty. He laughs at you. He drains you of your passions, and demotivates you from doing anything. Of course, he then ridicules you because you did nothing. He makes up reasons why people don’t talk to you at certain times. He says they don’t like you. He says that they don’t care about you, and are just trying to be nice to save face. He says you won’t survive.
You never really see him for who he is, until something serious happens. For me, it took a meeting with my manager asking why it is I’m behind in my projects for everything to surface. I was overcome with emotion, just trying to explain myself when tears started flowing. The meeting went on for about 20 minutes after that, but my tears never stopped. It wasn’t even like I was pouring my heart out or anything; they just couldn’t stop.
If it’s anything I learnt within this experience, was that I couldn’t go through this alone. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I thank God for the people who God has placed in my life who have been a support for me throughout this experience. People like Darnell, who allowed me to vent even when he was tired, and encouraged me to seek help. Like Azriel, who made his busy self available to me when I needed, and offered me accountability during my process. Like Jemima, who is such a joyous soul that you could never be sad around. Like Ruth, who knows me so well and checks up on me when something seems off. Like Monique, who’s friendship has been a blessing. Like the Jeremiah Fire squad, who never give up on me and gave me an outlet to express myself, and a drive to grow and become so much more than I already am.
The purpose of this was to raise awareness about the realness of depression. It is a real disease. There is no shame in admitting it, and definitely no shame in getting help. My hope is that you find someone to talk to. That you don’t keep it in. That little shadow man is nothing short of a monster, and not someone you should take lightly. My hope is that you spread the word. That you be a friend to someone in need. That you try your best to be kind to everyone, because you don’t know what they go through. That in the moments when you are your weakest and there’s nobody around, that the very presence of God will overtake you, and that the Holy Spirit will be your comfort and your guide.
Talk to somebody. Be somebody to talk to.
Photo Credit to xm0nkeyx.