t's weird...I have been doing EVERYTHING I can do to avoid writing in my blog...it's crazy. I put soooooo much pressure on myself to get everything I have in my mind into a writing that makes a difference...that people would want to read...because I want to make a difference. I feel incredibly passionate about making a difference. About trying to be the best person I can be. About being the most truthful and honest person that I can be.
I want to share my struggles because they are a big part of my life. They are a reality that so many people hide and because these things are hidden those of us who are really suffering inside think that something is wrong with us. Those of us with depression feel alone and isolated. We feel like a burdon to others because...we are sad...we feel like we are always sad. We feel like we bring everyone down around us. But we are sad. And we honestly don't really understand why we are hurting so badly to begin with...but we are.
My struggle has been intense. Depression hits me hard. I really really struggle when it hits me hard enough and I don't get up fast enough...it takes over me. and it starts to consume me...and I start to lose all of my strength. I feel like I can't do it. I feel incredibly weak. I am hurting all throughout my body...but it's not physical. It feels like a heartbreak...like my whole body is a heartbreak and I just want to curl up in a ball and cry until it stops hurting. It's so hard sometimes.
But I know I have to do it. I have to push through because I am not going to give up. Because it's important that I don't give up. Because giving up affects affects more than just me. Giving up can be a ripple affect of weakness when we need to be giving each other strength.
I don't give up because I know the strength that I have built throughout my life as I have fought depression every single day.
I remember thinking a lot even as young as pre-school/kindergarten. I remember during nap time in kindergarten looking around at all of the kids...just being kids. Yet I felt like I didn't know how to just be a kid. My mind wouldn't let me. I second guessed so much about myself and about life. I remember not understanding when the other kids would be little brats :P and run in front of me and each other to take the good nap spots. It made me sad and I felt so dumb that it made me as sad as it did. I didn't want to push in front of someone and take the spot they were clearly going to. I thought it was dumb and rude and kinda hurtful. It made no sense to me and it bothered me a lot, not only when they would do it to me, but when they would do it to others around me. It felt like I could feel their pain and it was a lot. I was always feeling the emotions of others around me on top of my own, already strong and confusing, feelings.
I remember around 3rd grade when neighbors would race to the bus stop to "get in line" because they wanted to sit with "our only friend" on the bus...and whose loyalty we always had to fight for. The girl who would pick and choose who she was going to be cool with and then they would purposely leave someone out. And since I seriously hated fighting for the front of "the bus line"...and I didn't want to be fighting for someone to be nice to me...I was pretty much the one that they would purposely leave out- Annnnnnd it made me sad. I didn't understand why people had to be so mean. I remember wondering if I was just not fun? If I was just too sensitive? If Maybe I didn't have enough interesting things to talk about? I remember being in my little tree-fort area on the way to the bus stop and hanging out there for a little bit while I actually wrote down ideas that I tried to come up with for topics that might be cool to talk about with her about. It was ridiculous lol
Things like that would hurt me so much and I could never imagine purposely making another person hurt that bad.
And as time went on and life went on..the more I experienced, the more I grew, the more I felt, the more I hurt...the more the depression grew and felt and hurt as well. And by middle school I was really starting to run away from the pain. I wanted to avoid it. I wanted to block it out in the hopes that in time it would go away. I started getting into trouble, not taking things seriously in my life, pretending like I didn't care about things as much as I really did. I always cared. And I was always hurting. But I didn't know how to talk about it. I didn't know why I felt as sad as I did. We had things happen in our childhood, like so many people have had as well. Bad things happen, I know that, but why did things hurt me so much worse than others. Was it because of those things that I was hurting so bad? Why was there always this underlying pain in my heart and deep in my mind.
I didn't know it was depression. I thought it was just me. I thought I just needed to figure it out. But I thought I was. Everyday, everything I did took effort to do. I was trying all the time.
There were times when I would feel good, I would feel strong, confident, sure of what I thought life was about, confident that the struggles were worth it. I have always believed that the struggles make me stronger and being stronger is what I want.
But sometimes it's hard to face what you really need to do in order to make your life better...in order to get stronger and to experience that amazing good that is on the other side if you just push through.
I think one of the hardest things about depression is remembering that it is a disease...it is not you. It really isn't. It's not your fault. It really isn't. You are not "choosing" to feel this sad.
But at the same time...there are choices that you are making that aren't helping the situation. And you need to face them.
If you need to make a doctor appointment and look into trying a medication...then you need to make the phone call. And trust me, I know how hard it can be to get the strength needed to even make that effort...to do something you need to do to get stronger when you feel weak to the point that you have begun losing all hope in the idea that you ever could get better in the first place. You are sad that you are sad. And that makes you really sad.
But...there are ways to gain strength back...eat...even when you don't want to. You have to. I know you can get by without doing it...I do it quite often...and that is something I need to face. I need to try even harder to make sure I always eat...always...or more often than not ;) I have to do it...even when I don't feel like it.
Working out. Drinking water. Getting sleep. writing in my blog and not being scared to be who I am...to share what I feel and to be confident in my ability to overcome any and all obstacles that come my way. I have to fight in all of the ways that I can and I have to do my best to not slip. Yes, I know a lot of you will say that I am too hard on myself...but it's hard not to be when you feel, at times, like you are fighting for your life.
...that was a tangent...with my main point being that this is me. This is how I have been for as long as I can remember. And for the past 11 years, ever since my accident, I have had the desire to be more open and honest about my struggles. But for the past 11 years I have fought myself about doing it. I have held back so much out of fear. Out of the fear that nothing I could ever write would be good enough. I have been scared about what people might think...am I pathetic? Am I annoying? Am I too sensitive? Is something wrong with me? Is depression my fault? Why can't I make it better? What's wrong with me? Why can't I figure it out? Why do things hurt me so bad? Why do I feel like I am always hurting? Why can't I see what others see?
Will me sharing this part of my life make people think less of me? Will coaches or teammates think I can't handle being on the team? Will I get through it?
But this fear is ridicules because I know who I am. I know what I am capable of. I know that I am a good person. I know that I am a strong person. I am a fun person...a funny person...an outgoing person. I am someone who cares about others...maybe too much sometimes...but that's me. And I know that although depression has always been there...it is not me.
I am me. and I will get through this.
And the thing is...I have been far worse...many many times. There have been times where I was drowning in my depression and yet I still made it to every single training session after crying my eyes out in the dorm bed in-between...
I am not going to let depression hold me back from living my life and doing the things I want to do...the things I believe in...the things care about. I will never stop trying. I believe it can get better.
I know I have gotten better. I have gotten stronger. So much stronger...especially over this past year. And I am going to continue getting stronger. I am going to continue working through the things I need to work through in my life and doing the things I need to do in order to make that happen.
Sometimes you just have to slap yourself in the face and wake yourself up.
The accident 11 years ago was my wake-up call...
I had been doing so good for so long...but right now...the depression came back and I have felt like I was once again drowning.
But I am getting help. I upped my meds, I reached out for help, I had my first counseling session last week and my second tomorrow, I have pushed through times where I thought curling up in a ball was the only way to survive the pain...and I am okay. I am slowly rebuilding my strength and fueling the fire that I need inside of me in order to do the things I am passionate about doing in my life. Reaching my goals takes more than just working out and practicing...reaching my goals takes working out my emotional strength and pushing through the depression, the pressure, the fog, the self-doubt...but I can do this.