Good morning everyone. Today's topic is something I can speak on, because I have quite a bit of experience with it. It's depression. I chose this topic today, because currently there are three people with whom I have spoken to recently and all are dealing with depression, but all for different reasons and at varying levels. When I was a kid, I had a lot of anxiety, but I had never experienced depression, until I lost the most important person in my life, my mom. My mom was my best friend and the sweetest person I've ever met in my life, and the one person I can truly say loved me. I was a teenager when she got sick, but because I wasn't in the medical field at the time I had no idea how severe it was. I chose to do respiratory therapy, because my mother had a respiratory illness and I thought "I am going to go to school, and I am going to find out what is wrong with her and I am going to fix her." I never got the chance.
I had just turned 19, and it was a few days before Thanksgiving that year, and I got the one call I will never forget.
I had just turned 19, and it was a few days before Thanksgiving that year, and I got the one call I will never forget. It was my sister, and she only said two words to me, "Mama’s dead." I dropped the phone in disbelief, and that was the beginning of many future episodes of depression in my life. I had just visited her the week before. While she and I both lay looking at the ceiling, she said she loved me in a way she had never said it before. She rubbed my faced and kissed my forehead which was something she rarely did. Now that I think back on it, I wonder if that was her goodbye.
Losing someone so important to you requires time for recovery. As a teenager, I did not express my feelings. I didn't talk to people, and everything I felt remained bottled inside. Because I have never needed people in my space, I spent a lot of time alone, and I have spent a lot of time alone ever since. I don't remember much of my college days, because I was simply in a robotic lull. Work, eat, study, sleep. I never had any drunken nights or party nights, because I simply didn't want to go. I did well in school, because for me school was a distraction. Each time I would get an A, it felt like a little hug that I wasn't getting in real life. I didn't drink, smoke, or do anything, except for the same things day in and day out. I went through abusive relationships, and I never said anything about it, because the person I would have talked to about it was gone. Many days I would think about ending the constant anxiety and pain I felt both emotionally and physically, but that changed when I had my son. Suddenly, I had a reason to live.
Right now, if you are having anxiety or depression, I want you to know that you are special to someone. It's very possible that you don't realize how much you impact others' lives. There is a reason you are here. There is a reason that you have life in your body right now. I want you to think about something that you do well. It could be writing, singing, painting, making music, giving advice, or anything at all really. And realize that the thing you do well is a gift. It's a gift you should share with the world. And it does not matter where you are in life right now. You could be living in a place you don't want to be, or in a horrible situation that you feel others won't understand, but I promise you there are people who have gone through what you are going through right now and have become successful. How great would it be to be able to one day reach success and be able to tell others where you came from? How great would it be to save someone else's life? Just think, someone might need your story right now to encourage them to live another day. You will have good days and you will have bad ones. That is just how life works, but you CAN get through it. Your depression may not look the same as everyone else's, but just know, that the peace you seek is not at the bottom of a bottle, or inside a pill. It's just not. If you need to talk to someone, please do, but peace is something you have find inside yourself, and using your gift is a good way to find it. Focus on getting through today. And if no one has told you, it will be ok.