Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I want to share something with you.  It is kind of a serious subject so bare with me.  I have debated over the past several months how to exactly share it.  I've scheduled this post and cancelled it at least 3 times.  I don't really know how to go about gracefully sharing this, so I'm just going to jump right in. 

I suffer from depression.  I can pretty much tell you the exact moment it happened to me, too.  I was in 7th grade orchestra class at Woodrow Wilson Junior High in Terre Haute, IN.  I was sitting there holding my violin and it was like something in my brain just kind of clicked.  Not necessarily a bad thing but it was just as if my way of thinking changed. 

It wasn't until I was a sophomore in college at Purdue that I was diagnosed.  After lots of terrible late night calls to my Mom (who was five hours away), I knew I needed help.  I really wasn't sure what was wrong.  Luckily Purdue has a great student health center and they were able to help me.  I was diagnosed with depression and told I had a chemical imbalance in my brain and would probably need to take medication the rest of my life.  It took 3 times to get the medication right but I started to feel like myself again.  I joined a sorority called Sigma Kappa that winter (2000) and things really started to turn around for me.

Life didn't become sunshine and rainbows then but it got better.  I have struggled over the last 14 years.  As I have gotten older, I have learned how to handle things better.  But sometimes I just can't turn my mind off.  Racing thoughts.  Constant worrying.  But don't we all? 

On the outside you probably think she is nice, quiet person.  I can't imagine her being depressed.  It is something I'm pretty good at hiding and I can put on a happy front.  (Not always.)  I'm bad about letting things get to me.  I have to force myself out there and have normal everyday interactions.  It is a struggle.  If I acted how I really feel sometimes, no one would want to be around me.  It is a hard balance to find because I am such a people pleaser.  I need to remember it is me I need to please.

Anxiety comes along with depression usually.  I have had a couple of panic attacks before.  Very, very minor.  Like I said I really have to force myself into social situations.  My self esteem is like a -500.  I beat myself up mentally.  All the years of being made fun of for being overweight and tall took a huge toll on me.  I'm deathly afraid of meeting new people because we moved around a lot as a kid.  All these factors have not helped me over the years.  I constantly worry about what people are thinking about me.  I know what you are thinking.  Who the heck cares?  After doing it for so many years, it is just hard to stop.

How am I doing now?  Well I would say I'm fair.  I have learned how to better handle things and try and let them go.  (Darn Irish grudges.)  We had a very, very brutal and cold winter in Indiana and as the world came out of the deep freeze, I didn't.  That is how I can best describe it.  It took my very good friend Jennifer telling me ever so kindly that maybe my medicine wasn't working anymore.  I'm working on getting that fixed again and going to therapy.  I'm not ashamed to admit that.  I have done it in the past but always had to stop because insurance was changing or I just couldn't afford it.  I find it always helps talking to an outside person.  They can give you a perspective on your life that you never thought of before.

So why am I putting myself out there and telling you this?  It is not because I want you to feel sorry for me.  I want you to know who I am.  Inside and out.  For me it is best to talk things out.  Get it all out there.  I want others to know it is okay.  It is okay to ask for help.  It is okay to talk about it.  When we stop talking that is when things go south.  If you ever feel like you need to talk, I'm here.  I may not have the answers but I'm a really good listener.  I've been there.

Depression is an illness just like anything else.  It is treatable and not something to be embarrassed about.  You can learn to live with it and lead a normal life.  You have to be willing to want to help yourself.  Life will not always be perfect but you don't have to feel miserable living it.

If there is one piece of advice I can give you it is this.  Surround yourself with people who love you, respect you, listen to you, and support you no matter what.  Without my Mom and Dad, I can assure you I would not be here today.

And if all else fails just laugh.  Just find humor in life because sometimes we just can't take life that seriously.  I will be the first one to admit, I'm just a work in progress.  Take me or leave me.  Hate me or love me.  I'm just me.


Post a Comment