Lifestyle

The Many Faces Of Depression

Let’s face it the number of people suffering from depression seems to be at an all time high. For some people like myself, it’s a chemical imbalance and sometimes can take years to diagnose because it comes in so many forms. For some it’s recovering from trauma and having to take medication to cope, Sometimes it can be seasonal blues or just overthinking. When we’re younger seeking to be older to make our own rules and do what we want seems so liberating; But as we get older the responsibilities prove to be more than we can take at times. Years ago my depression was disguised in many ways; I went through so many changes so impulsively and with very little regard for anyone else’s feelings. Like Solange said in her song ‘Cranes In The Sky’:

“ I tried to drink it away

I tried to dance it away

I tried to change it with my hair

I tried to run it away

Thought then my head be feeling clearer

I traveled 70 states

Thought moving ’round make me feel better

I tried to let go my lover

Thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover

To write it away or cry it away”

Chaos

That was legit my life. Constantly moving, drinking, dating, having to be busy at all times so I wouldn’t have the time to think, or to feel. I developed addictions as coping mechanisms, But what happens when you can no longer can hide from the truth? When you can no longer blame everyone around you for being so upset, depressed about life and not making any real changes in your life. You sink into a dark place, so you go from thinking you can fill that void with people or things and start digging deep within. You go from being depressed about your job or relationship status to reflecting on your life. You may become disillusioned with your life, the choices you’ve made. Reflecting so much at times that your mind just goes on this hamster wheel of emotions and regret. You start cutting off friends that don’t feel like friends anymore, you stop hanging out or going to bars, and start binge watching some shows to distract you from feeling and enter a cocoon. There’s oftentimes a competition of sufferance that happens, where we wear our pain as a cape and compare our stories as if there was pride in that pain. We get so lost in our own pain sometimes, forgetting that others are hurting as well sometimes worse than you are suffering; no pain no matter how small it may seem is little to the person feeling it. We all hurt.

The Pit

Some days you may not even feel like getting out of bed, you don’t want to eat, or bathe, your house becomes a mess a reflection of your thoughts; deep down you know you’ll get through this though sometimes it seems never ending. Through that mess of emotions comes healing, A mixture of peace and regret, you start to see the synchronicities of life that everything does happen for a reason. But as you enter different stages of your life, different jobs, from marriage to kids your circle gets smaller and you’re forced into a hermit mode. Here comes another form of depression, but through that isolation comes elevation. You start to really focus on your emotions when you begin to heal, sometimes too much and can be in your head a lot. Sometimes turning to spirituality, tarot, or horoscopes for some clarity. We all look for answers to why, why life is so much harder than we were told. So you try to take control of your emotions, breaking years of habit, of worrying too much about things that always work themselves out anyway.

The Breakthrough

You start to evolve and you feel less lonely, uncomfortable but content with the peace that you’re feeling. A comfort settles as you become more your authentic self, you start surrendering the need to control every aspect of your life. Embracing yourself, loving yourself, forgiving yourself and in the process letting go of grudges you may of had that held you back for so long. You see depression is oftentimes dreaded, we want to feel happy all the time; but it’s truly through our depression that we find ourselves and the strength to go on. Just like most areas of life there is a spectrum to the levels of our pain, the highs or lows vary and there’s no way to avoid the feels. We’re all on this journey together, and what’s comforting is we all have instances in our lives that mirror those of the people around us. Taking control of your emotions gives you such empowerment, being Bi polar has taught me so much about myself and how to look at the world around me. It’s taught me to embrace the lows as much as the highs, to feel all the feels and ride this wave of life without fear.

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

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