Have you ever felt so much pressure it felt like weights were sitting on your chest as you try to breathe?
That’s how depression felt to me. Like I was sinking underwater and couldn’t swim back to the surface. Or the walls were closing in on me. I lived this way for years in silence. Then I began exhibiting anger towards everything and everyone around me. No one wanted to be around me. I hated everything about life. Especially my own existence. It got so bad I just began to feel as if I was constantly being attacked for breathing air.
Then one day I read this book, “Circle of Fire.” It has nothing to do with depression. Well some of the author’s journey does. Anyway, after reading this book, I felt convicted. I felt the weight of my sorrow, hurt and how I treated others. I wasn’t embarrassed by my actions. It finally hit me, I was drowning in depression and had been for almost 20 years.
By this time my behavior was so ingrained in me, I didn’t realize that’s NOT who I am at all. Shortly after accepting I was living in my hurt, my own living HELL, I went to see a therapist. We worked together for 8 months. During this time I began to see the consequences of my actions. I began to make amends with those who would let me and those I wanted to rebuild a relationship with. I also got back into journaling.
While the journey to overcome depression was challenging because I experienced minor setbacks on occasion, it was freeing. Now almost 1 year after getting back to the surface of my life, I’m in such a better mental space. Many times black women are downing in depression without realizing it because we’re so busy tending to everyone else. But from my own personal experience, I see that as self-destructing. I can’t be good to anyone if I can’t stop myself from drowning.
If you feel you’re drowning and no one around you understands, then call a hotline or a professional. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself.
Put on a life jacket and SAVE YOURSELF.