For a while now, I’ve been personally battling some depression and anxiety issues. It’s been something that’s slowly creeping up in my life, slowly becoming a bigger and bigger problem, and it’s taken a lot of years for me to confront it, and accept it. I felt for so long it was a personal weakness, an embarrassment, and something that was completely unacceptable in my life.
However, for the first time ever, I went to a counselor. I barely slept last night. I was so nervous, and so embarrassed. I ran through conversations over and over in my mind. I feared the inevitable question, “Why are you here?” I didn’t know how to answer it. Those four words were the scariest thing to me. I do not often offer up my thoughts and feelings about things that are really important. I often close up and tuck those things away deep inside of me. It’s caused many problems in my life, lead to failed relationships with friends, and has really plagued my ability to continue to foster all my current relationships, with friends, family, and Jeremy as well.
Before today, I was fully aware of this idea that I was depressed. I often find myself lacking energy, even after a solid night’s sleep, lazy, closed off, unexcited, and very angry. I haven’t slept through the night in years, unless I’m sick and my sleep is aided by some Tylenol Nighttime. I always thought I could deal with it, and I always thought that I’d overcome it in some way. But I haven’t, and I can’t.
My counselor said something to me today that has given me some courage to even put this post out there in the world for people to hear this part of my story. She said therapy isn’t a weakness. Therapy isn’t something that should be viewed from the standpoint that someone has a problem. She said everyone in the world should, at some point, go through a experience with a counselor or therapist. She said it is one of the most natural things we do as human beings. We exist for each other; to better each other, to support each other, and to help each other. And what I decided today was that I needed help. And no one ever in their lives has gotten through without asking for help at some point.
Her words made me cry, as most things do, but also made me realize that being vulnerable and opening yourself up to the world is necessary. I told her when I walked in that the rule of any of our questions, and our discussions is that I may not answer with “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is my fall back, my safety shield, my ability to deflect the questions so I don’t have to answer it, and be open with her or myself. I told her not to let me allow that to be used.
At the end of our session, she told me that I would survive this; that depression would not beat me, and that I am both a strong and motivated person. Again, water works, but she said most people don’t come in with the attitude that I have. Most people don’t know how to handle it. Now, I grew up with a family that never accepted failure, and people around me who demanded the best out of me at all times. I know that this is not the best version of myself, and that is what I am striving for. I want to be the best me possible, and I’m going to need some help to do that.
The funny thing about your blog, or your facebook pages, or anything you post online, is that you chose what to put up there. It’s your highlight reel, showcasing all the best that you have to the public, ignoring your insecurities and your faults. In my perhaps bloated bravery today, I choose to share this small piece of me with cyberspace out there. It is not attention seeking. It is not a way for me to make you feel sorry. This, writing, is my way of thinking and dealing with myself. It’s time I start being honest, and truly reflecting.
Welcome to my journey to become me.