Life is full of ebbs and flows. We go through turbulence and trauma to find ourselves growing and building a sense of perseverance and resilience.  That is the basic fact of life. There is so much out there in the world telling us how to find the silver lining, how to build ourselves up for success, and how to overcome defeat.

No one wakes up one morning saying that they plan on being depressed. I woke up one morning finding myself overwhelmed with a series of shit life threw at me. Being the optimist I usually I am, I was not prepared to deal with the fact that I was diagnosed as clinically depressed.

I remember sitting at the doctor’s office and her going over my psych evaluation. She conducted her tests and tallied up the score and tells me that I am depressed. What am I supposed to do in that moment? Do I accept it or reject it. I don’t think I had enough time to process an ounce of it before she was telling me all about the different anti-depressants. I sat there with my heart into my stomach telling myself, there is going to be a point where I am going to have to eventually confront this beast in order to tame it. Weather I choose to name it to tame it, or reject the notion in order to avoid being another statistic- at the end of the day I am still going to have to face some sort of reality.

I went home and began to think about all the bullshit I have faced in life. I had to face trauma in School, building my career, love and marriage. No matter how big the barriers in life were for me, I always found a way to overcome it. Yes I know this is cliché as fuck but it never prepared me to be at this pinnacle of life. This is something I just don’t know how to approach let alone overcome it. I sat there asking myself how did I let it come to this point, what could I have done differently.

The truth is no matter what path I took I was bound to face this epidemic at one point or another. That is the cold hard facts. Sitting there playing it over and over in my head was not going to give me the insight I needed to begin battling this journey. That is called insanity. You know where you keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping to gain different outcomes. Yeah that was not going to fly.

The irony in all this, is that most of my adult life I am a certified mental health professional. I am an advocate, an activist, a social innovator. I spent years working with people identifying mental health concerns and working with them on their journey of recovery and stability. One would think, well if I am this advocate and activist why is it that I cannot follow my own advice.  For that I say, it’s because I am a fucking human being; not super woman. Just like everyone else I have supported in my life, I now need to begin finding and building my network of supports. Before I can even do that, I must first decide do I accept this or do I reject this. The way I see it, no matter what I decide the feelings of helpless, lost, confused, lethargic, and just down right sad will still be there. So I have decided to chronicle a miniseries to support not only myself but hopefully others when it comes to realizing “Holy Shit you just found out you have depression, now what”.  Week by week I plan to talk about the journey of understanding depression before the healing can begin.

2 Comments
  1. adamcc 3 years ago

    Hey,

    Thank you for sharing this. I also worked in the care industry, it was a very natural path for me. I knew I had wanted to since i was around 13 years old. There was almost certainly an underlying depression since early age but this only reached crisis levels 2 years ago whilst working at management level. On reflection, I did absolutely nothing that was self-nurturing. Everything I did was in the interest of others and then any time i did have to myself I drank. It became a habit because it numbed me, just like it does for pretty much everyone else. Obviously this lead down a patch to alcoholism and more severe mental health issues.
    I never got better until I acknowledged my problems and focused completely on myself and my recovery. I admire everyone who works in the industry you do because it takes so much out of the best of us and leaves so little time for self nurturing and reflection- you have so many other peoples worries lingering in your head, whether that be conscious or sub conscious!
    I wonder if there is any way you could take reduced responsibilities at work or anything like that to allow for more self nurturing? Or a brief career break for something less focused constantly on everyone else’s problems?
    I’m not giving advice of course. Just relating, and everyone is different. I am definitely pro-self nurturing when problems begin to emerge though. You could well be stopping something progressive and far worse by doing so.

    I wish you all the best with what is to come. You should never feel alone, I have found great communities and communication online recently which have personally benefited me in a big.

    Adam

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  2. Author
    ssanjana87 3 years ago

    Hi Adam

    Thank you for being my first reader and ever so kindly connecting. Yes self care is crucial when it comes to mental health and I love how you are so candid about it. I’m hoping my next chronical to touch base on coping with self shame and stigma. And your feedback is go greatly appreciated so I will have a guide and an idea on connecting with other members of this community

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