Depression in the digital age is very tricky and something not often spoken about in depth. I’m so thankful that the black community especially, has opened up more and are having conversations about it.
In October of 2017 I was diagnosed with major depression. While I feel like I’ve carried a sense of sadness with me pretty much my entire life, I never sought the help of a medical professional. At that time in my life, it seemed as though everything was going to shit. Personally and professionally I felt overwhelmed and every day tasks became too much to bare, my job at the time was incredibly stressful and I just had my breaking point.
As black women, we are groomed to be strong, resilient, impervious to all the things that would take down any other being. For a long time I believed I was that person, being told how strong I was over and over, the tough no non sense woman who was always very sure of who she was. But what happens when you can no longer believe what people are telling you, you are and you start to see yourself as something else?
This is a battle of the mind, your mind is telling you, you are all these negative things and it is a constant struggle against something inside of you. So I started seeing a therapist and I took time off of work. I am fortunate enough to have had the support of family and friends and to have worked for a company who was willing to invest in me as a person even when I wasn’t strong enough to invest in myself. When you get to the point where you can no longer pretend not to see or feel the things that are wrong it brings on a shock and it’s so important to deal with them. I am working against 25 years of bottled up emotion, I guess that’s the Scorpio in me haha, but as I get ready to head into my 26th year I am so grateful to be in a much better place than where I was.
I am very hard on myself and I want to do so much in life so the feeling of being stagnant or mediocre overwhelmed me. The idea that the women that came before me went through so much so that I could chase my dreams and make something of myself put a weight on my mind. And while you should absolutely set goals and have standards for yourself, it’s important to be realistic. To understand that your path is your own and life will only get better if you focus on things that make you happy instead of things that bring you down. This isn’t a 123 fix kind of situation and it can put a strain on your life and the lives of the people around you, so for me, I challenge myself everyday to be better. And some days are better than others but I know that although confronting my depression opened up the Pandora’s box inside of me it has allowed me to sift through so much that I had suppressed so that I can figure out what to keep and what to let go.