My dear, wonderful readers,
Here’s where things get personal. I probably won’t do this to you very often, but I’ve felt for a while that this is something that I need to write about, even though it’s seriously difficult to put it all into words.
Since I was 15, I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression. I’ve experienced the crazy roller coaster of emotions, where you feel like you’re completely out of control. I’ve curled up on the bathroom floor and cried because I felt there was no hope in my life whatsoever. I’ve spent hours mulling over thoughts in my brain, worrying about the future, worrying about people’s intentions, worrying about everything. I’ve been irrational, out of control, yelled, screamed…I’ve even thought about suicide from time to time. I’ve been cruel to people, because I felt threatened by them. I’ve been in harmful relationships, because I felt insecure.
And this lasted for years. And it wasn’t because it wasn’t treatable. It wasn’t because I was unable to get help. It was because I was unwilling to get help. I spent ten years of my life lying to myself, telling myself that things were normal, that everybody felt miserable from time to time, that if I just tried a little harder things would get better. I told myself that medication wasn’t an option because I didn’t want to “dull my emotions.” I lied to myself and told myself that even if I wanted to change, I couldn’t. I refused to swallow my pride and admit that I couldn’t manage things on my own.
I am so grateful to my wonderful family, that has supported me through all the years of trial and sadness and mistakes, and that have helped me see the bright side of things, even when I was almost incapable of seeing it. I am so grateful for a husband that has supported me and that finally told me that I had to get help. I am grateful for a God that is understanding and for the Lord Jesus Christ, who will help us bear our burdens, as long as we are willing to humble ourselves and turn to Him.
It has been almost a year since I started seeing a psychologist and taking medication. It is still a struggle sometimes to stay happy, to stop worrying, to keep the stress at bay. But I’ve gained a wonderful support system and some great tools for handling things and I feel better than I have in a long time.
Why am I writing this? Because I feel like today’s society is not as understanding of mental issues, especially in women. In a world where it seems like we are expected to be and do everything, it’s hard not to feel like you don’t measure up sometimes. And the belief becomes that if you don’t feel happy, it is simply because you’re not trying hard enough. That you should hide the truth and just pretend everything is okay. I am here to tell you that that is not true. We each have the right to feel happiness, and if you feel like that is not within your grasp…it can be. Don’t feel like it’s a reflection of your self-worth if you cannot handle things on your own. There is no shame in asking for help. You don’t even have to go the route that I went; there are a lot of different options. But there is no need to suffer alone.
I am willing to talk to anyone that needs to talk. Seriously. Send me an email, if you’d like. I am so grateful for this amazing blogging community that has been so supportive and has made me feel like this is something I can share. You are all wonderful!