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.

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

  1. I was diagnose with anxiety when I was 15 yrs old, later when I was marry I got diagnose with depression when I was 24/25 yrs old. It was the hardest thing to deal with two kids specially a new born. But i got help when i could. Now I deal with it alone, I meditate and try to stay clear minded. Is the hardest and best thing to do, when you ask for help.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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