I have always considered myself to be a pretty happy person. As a child, I was always able to find the bright side of any situation that was keeping me down.
As I got older it seemed my mood and emotions were not my own anymore, I couldn’t find it within myself to be happy anymore.
My junior year of undergrad is when my issues came to a head. My parents split, my grandmother died, school was a struggle, and I was socially ousted by a group I thought were friends and sisters
The circumstances were dim but my best friend Harrison who encouraged me to seek help and fight to see the good in life again. I had never been to a therapist before, I was ignorant to why I would need one and how much it could help me. My university offered free sessions to students, so I signed up with a little push from Harry and my world was opened up. I had no idea I could feel a release from the burden of constantly having to appear strong and put together. I had been broke in a lot of ways but I started to piece my life back together and make it my own again.
When Harrison died, my world crumbled again. The first couple of months I cried every hour, I didn’t eat, my body hurt, my heart ached, and I was having severe panic attacks every day. The pain I experienced was like none I’d ever been through before. I couldn’t see the purpose or joy in life anymore.
Depression is weird. That’s an astute observation I know but I’m not speaking to rocket scientists here, (although some of you may be) I’m speaking to regular people who are processing trauma and coping. Depression for me meant losing the colors in my life. I was born an artistic soul with an imaginative mind. When I tasted a sweet for the first time pink stars danced behind my eyes as a savored my treat. Every monumental life juncture had been associated with a color after Harrison died there were none. I had danced with depression before but this felt like something else entirely. I never knew I could experience such despair.
I had wrestled with my mom and primary care doctor about seeing a psychiatrist. Although I had seen a therapist in the past, I saw no point in even trying. I had banished myself to a life of grey.
Moved by the symbolism of Harrison’s Birthday; I had gotten the courage to reactivate my Facebook. I read our old messages that were full of encouragement, wisdom, hope, and adoration for each other. Those messages also mapped out our vision of life together and although I had no power over those dreams diminishing. I could still be successful and live out the dreams I had for myself, and he had for me.
Not long after that when I scheduled my first psychiatry appointment and was formally diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. I am now coming to grips with the fact that I have depression. Every day is a new battle but I have so guardian angels on my side how could I not win.