I took this down because people around me told me that future employers might hold this information against me. But then I realized…that’s exactly the kind of attitude this campaign seeks to erase. So here it is again.
I suffer from depression. I have for more years than I can count. I spent far too many of those years undiagnosed. Far too long bent under its weight. Far, far, too long believing myself unworthy of love—and despising those who dared to love me.
Because, you see, depression doesn’t always look like depression. Sometimes it rises up in a red flood of anger and irritability. Sometimes it sends you fleeing from all you know, seeking solace in isolation. Sometimes it steals your appetite and your ability to sleep, leaving you looking for something, anything, to fill up the empty hours.
Sometimes, to those who can’t see the tide of hopelessness, guilt and pain flooding through your body, you just look manic.
That’s what happened to me. They called me bipolar and fed me a never ending stream of powerful drugs. Drugs that left me numb. Unable to function. Even more miserable than before.
It was awful.
Fortunately, I eventually found myself a wise doctor who actually listened to me. Who looked past the physical manifestations and questioned the why‘s of it all. And that’s when I got the appropriate label (and the right medications).
Since then, life has gotten better.
I still ride the waves of depression, and sometimes it threatens to take me under, but for the most part I manage to stay upright. I can see the sun shining, feel the love in my husband’s kiss and cherish every hug my daughter gives me.
I am a mother, a lover and a writer…
And I am the face of depression. You got a problem with that?
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and today I’m speaking out on behalf of all the people who have been stigmatized by mental illness.
I am part of the Band, and together we are strong.