I can’t pinpoint when my depression started, but I would say it followed when I was diagnosed with lupus in 2013. I had started an independent life all on my own in the mountains of Colorado only to have to move back to my parent’s home a year later because I could barely pour a cup of coffee.

I ignored my depression for years after moving back home, blaming it solely on the fact that I was physically ill for life. But when medicine started working, and I could pour a cup of coffee without searing pain, my depression became naked.

Blaming it on my illness only lasted so long before the people closest to me could see the pain in my eyes – even when I was laughing.

I met the love of my life in 2016 and we married in sweet November of 2017. Our first year of marriage was a beautiful hot mess. We fought all the time. I cried a lot. He got frustrated. I threw things at doors. He cleaned up broken glass. We didn’t know how to communicate. I was sick – a lot. I winced every time someone awed us saying, “Enjoy that honeymoon stage.” And then, my depression woke up – I hid it under my pillow every night until it was no longer comfortable.

I began to self-harm in 2018 and I did it six times. Every moment was different, but every moment I felt the same hopeless feeling. My brain started to connect the relief from my emotional pain with the act of cutting, and so, it became easier every time.

Try holding this away from your spouse – it ain’t gonna happen. Especially when your spouse is a therapist. My husband knew I hid a lot of my childhood, as well as the ache of my father’s abandonment at 18 and a whole lotta family dysfunction. Maybe it all added up and became too much to bear. My husband did everything he could to prevent my self harming. He hid knives and sharp objects – I tear up as I write it. I was stubborn and didn’t think I needed help.

My body has wounds on my arms and legs, but there were wounds that went so much deeper than anything that bled – than anything you could see. And I needed help.

One morning, with a crick in my neck after how much I had stuffed under my pillow, I agreed to get help. It took everything in me to accept it because accepting it meant I had to face really scary things.

And it was the bravest thing I could’ve done.

I started medication and saw a counselor for a while and today, I’m better for it. And then, as my life would have it, I was diagnosed with a very rare, incurable disease in October that makes me painfully half-blind for months and feels like jellyfish live inside my body. It’s called Neuromyelitis optica – I have my good days, I have my bad days. It’s been easy to fall into depression, but by the grace of God, it’s not prevailed.
Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m winning, but maybe sometimes we have to fight battles more than once to win. I like to think of my depression as part of my story that had to happen in order for me to be where I’m at today.

I think people who’ve been depressed have a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion and a sincere kindness for others. Maybe we’d not know this deep empathy if we’d not lived through our depression.

If you struggle with depression, here’s a virtual hug and a gentle nudge to seek help if you haven’t. It’s OK. You’re not depression. You have a powerful story to tell. You have a past, a name, and your own quirky awesome characteristics that make you who you are. None of that goes away because you seek help. You’re still you. I’m still me.

You’re already brave.

Who knows, maybe you’ll better for it.

22 thoughts on “Sometimes The Bravest Thing You Can Do Is Get Help

  1. Thank you for visiting Random Thoughts. I found you through your like on my site, and I’m glad I did. Between my husband and I, we have Fibromyalgia, MS and possible Myasthenia Gravis. Sometimes I think we won the wrong lottery, and it’s hard to keep the faith in the middle of what feels like the biggest storm of your life. And we’ve been through a lot over the past four years since his MS diagnosis.

    It’s great to meet you. God bless.

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  2. I’m so glad I was able to find your blog because of your like on mine. It’s incredible to hear such open and powerful honesty about issues that can be more difficult than anything else you have to face in life. As a kid in a wheelchair, so many people put you on a pedestool by saying that you’re their hero and that you’re so strong, so it felt like I had let everyone around me down when I failed to fight the darkness that came with being disabled and was forced to admit that I was depressed. Like you, I sought help, but unfortunately my psychologist wasn’t a very good one and did little to help me. What really saved me in the end from my own destruction was poetry. I would write about my depression and the state of my mind and it was unveliably freeing to do so. God threw me a rope of words and I held on for dear life. Now I’m trying to get the poetry collection published. Thank you for the incredible stories you share on this blog, I’ve learnt so much reading them as I’m sure many others have too.

    Love,
    thewheelchairteen.home.blog

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  3. I really enjoy the honesy here! The way you write is very easygoing and enjoyable. I’m glad I found your blog, and a troop of people who understand one another. I had to swallow my pride a few years ago when I could no longer work regularly and needed to be on disability. I really did need the help and am grateful! Still, I beat myself up every time someone asks me what I do for a living.

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  4. I like to think I am more sensitive because of my mental health struggles. It’s definitely informed my career pathway in this second half of life. Loved ones don’t always understand the dis-ease and so it’s good to read your story. And get the hug !
    Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you’re better. Battling a chronic disease is tough in itself but when depression and anxiety sneaks in it makes things more difficult. You’re also right about how we hide so much from our love ones either in an attempt to protect them or fooling ourselves into thinking we’re protecting ourselves. Be By.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Man, just continuing to read your story/struggle helps me as I climb my own mountain with late-stage Lyme Disease, co-infections, chronic pain, and nagging anxiety. I’m proud of you. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to press on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you are going through is hard Jason. But it is so wonderful that you are using what you go through to help other men rise up. Thank you so much for dropping by and being encouraging. Continue to press on friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning Ms. Wall! I probably didn’t catch it before (or else I simply forgot – which is getting more frequent as I get older – that you’re a fellow resident of Cowtown. I always love my WordPress “neighbors” but am always excited when they’re in Fort Worth!

    Thank you for writing this. Depression is nothing to be ignored. I tried to hide it for many years. It takes courage to step out of the darkness and into the light. Once I shined the light on it my life began to improve. It hasn’t always been an easy journey but it’s been one that has made me useful to people around me. Thank you for sharing the light!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It really takes a lot of courage to share your story and you my friend I say is an inspiration to lot of people. Never let bad times shun your spark, I hope you are doing better now.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. It is really courageous of you to have been thru all those (though I am completely clueless) and use that experience to help others. Hope things are going well on your side and all the best to you and your loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” David understood. Not all “bad” stuff is punishment. Sometimes it’s the only way of getting us to where we need to be. Like setting a broken bone. I don’t fully understand why I’ve had to endure certain things in my life, and continue to do so, but He has shown me a glimpse of what I would be if I had not done so. And it scares me. It doesn’t take the pain away nor make the way easier to bear, but it does allow me to be grateful. Grateful that He loves and cares enough to do what is necessary to make me like Him, what He created me to be. And He’ll get me through it.
    Will be praying for you, Savannah. Thanks for sharing. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Kevin, thank you Savannah for shering and blessing us with your story. Each of us is one of the kind and you have enriched my live with your love and compassion to your self and to all others.
      I send you my respect and hugs ❤

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