Does, journey mean we are travelling to somewhere. What is a Journey? Does it it end in a destination? Does life and learning have a stopping point? I’m inclined to say no. I think our “journey” is more the ups and downs. It’s the lessons we pack into our luggage to use later. It’s forgetting we have said lesson tucked away when we need it and instead sometimes get taught again and again. I think our path through life, while it looks seemingly like a straight line from birth to death is instead more circular. We might’ve had a starting point but I don’t think it really ever ends. That being said sometimes we find ourselves journeying to the same places over and over. Sometimes we can’t seem to find the lesson in it. Some days it’s just a difficult ride.
I’m struggling. I tend to do that during the cold months so it’s not a secret or surprise to me. I’m a warm weather girl through and through! I want sunshine on my skin, swim suits and flip flops and I’d prefer if sand was beneath my toes 90 percent of the time. This cold and I just don’t see eye to eye. When I have to wear ten layers to leave the house only to be bone deep chilled? Well, you get the idea.
Mental health and I are on a first name basis. When I first realized that I had a name for the way I was feeling, the way I’d felt for really most of my life and back into childhood even, I’d like to say I was ecstatic. Instead I felt embarrassed, shameful in a way and maybe like something was “wrong” with me. I hated that I needed medication to make me “normal”. Is normal even a thing?!? I mean really! Isn’t it subjective to who and where you are anyway? I now know that to be so far from the truth. However, it doesn’t mean it never brings me down.
I really thought I was gonna skim by this year with minimal winter depression. The holidays seem to help me get through the first part of the cold weather. Probably something to do with the magical air it lends to the Christmas season. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m totally down to spend Christmas in 80 degrees somewhere on a beach. Like Forever! I could make my own magic, but the snow does seem to feel like Christmas is in the air. I was prepared this year and dang it, it just seems to make it that much harder to accept, understand and figure out when the depression sets in in January.
I’m completely on my mental health game. I guess when you are as old as I am you’ve had enough time to recognize the trends. I like to think I know myself pretty well. I know when an appointment is in order, if I need some space or alone time, or if I need to just get out of the house. I’m actually huge believer on taking your mental health into your own hands. Be your best advocate! No one knows you the way you do! Even if the depression tries to scream louder than you are!
The whole point of this rambling is to say that sometimes I struggle. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes I don’t always have the answers for myself. It’s ok to be there for a little bit. It’s just not ok to unpack and live there! So, I’m writing this to let you know you aren’t alone. Depression sucks. So do other mental health issues I assume! I see you. I see the struggle to put on “real” pants and get out. I know how loud depression voices can yell at you. You aren’t a failure! You are meaningful. You do have talents and kindness and purpose! You are beautiful even if you are getting older. Even if those pounds aren’t budging! You are a good mom, sister, friend! (Or dad, brother, friend...we don’t discriminate over here).
Depression, or any other mental health struggles don’t define you! It doesn’t make you less than. It is a physiological issue you can’t completely control. It’s ok to have ups and downs!
I want you to know that you have a voice! Your voice and your story matter. Sometimes I truly feel that if we all were to show a little less of our good and share more of our struggles we would all be able to develop bigger bonds with one another and truly be able to hold hands and guide each other through this life. So I’m telling you, I’m struggling! Life is hard. Depression sucks. But, life is also wonderful, beautiful and sweet. Kids are difficult and can make you feel like you are losing your mind. You might feel like you need a week away, but they are also magical and sweet and all things wonderful. There is always light in the dark. We just have to look for it even if some days you feel like you are looking harder than you ever have and it’s just a small glimmer. It’s there! Promise. From one depression suffer to another! Keep your chin up and your feet warm! May is coming!
If you really can’t find that small little light down in the darkness please don’t hesitate to tell someone! Anyone! I promise there are people out there who need you in their lives! Suicide hotline Call 1-800-273-8255.