By the end of 2016, I was drifting in a mental state that felt foreign. It was uncomfortable, lonely, and my life felt purposeless. I now know that this was a state of depression.
It should be noted that I’ve always been the one to encourage, edify, and challenge those around me. In addition, I’ve never really needed anyone to pick me up in life. To a fault, the people in my life have always thought of me as the “strong one.”
What I now know is just because you’re the “strong one” doesn’t mean you don’t need help. This doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.
At that time, all I wanted to do was disconnect from everyone and everything. I didn’t want to feel this hopelessness anymore. The truth was in that moment, I needed someone to save me, but no one knew I was drowning in depression. On the outside looking in, I was “good.”
Above all, I remember the fear of being alone meant being with my thoughts; so I found any external outlet of happiness I could find. Subsequently, I went shopping, got a new car and stayed in relationships that weren’t good for me. A very courageous friend once told me, going to the beach alone was the most fantastic experience of freedom.
Finally, one Saturday morning while laying in bed crying at 4 am, I hit rock bottom. I knew that I couldn’t “do this” one more day. I just remember thinking, “He Is All I’ve Got!”
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
Lamentations 3:22-24 MSG
They say you’re closer to God at the water, and at that moment, I needed him to hear my cries. I grabbed a beach towel, my journal, and headed to the beach. Over the next year, every Saturday would wake-up early and take my blanket, journal and meet God under the palm tree. Looking back now, He was always with me; I just couldn’t hear him. I had to make space for him.
Despite the heavyweight of depression I was carrying, the one thing I knew more than anything was that my God wouldn’t let me go out like this.
Some mornings were filled with tears and other barrels of laughter. After a few weeks, I started to look forward to my Saturday morning ritual. I remember one morning, in particular, a feeling of guilt coming over me “What kinda mother are you… enjoying this moment while my daughter was home in bed?” The difference at this moment was I recognized that this was “that thing” that tells you that you don’t deserve to be happy or to be free.
I learned so much during those sunrise sessions with myself and my creator. I observed the world around me with a new lens. This time saved my life and began the self-care journey!
If I could be a voice to anyone dealing with depression I would first say, “You’re not alone.” There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the words of encouragement my friend shared with me.
More women are affected by depression than men.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
WHO suggestions on what you can do:
- Talk to a trusted family member, friend, or colleague about how you feel.
- If you think you are in immediate danger of harming yourself contact the emergency services or a crisis line, or go there directly.
- Talk to a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counselor or social worker.
- If you practice a religion, talk to someone from your religious community who you trust.
- Join a self-help or support group for people with lived experience of self-harm. You can help each other to feel better.
Secondly, the road to taking back your life starts with one step in the other direction.
Today my life mantra is “Live Life Out Loud,” which means showing up for the moments that matter while being authenticating you.
Connecting with people has always been a since of purpose for me. Being able to be that virtual friend and provide answers and recommendations gives me joy. This is the reason I created CanDesLand YouTube as another way to connect and share.
I believe that we all have a purpose and the path to realizing it should be celebrated. In Oprah’s book The Path Made Clear, she shares a moment shared with Maya Angelou.
If you’re in the midst of a failure, say ‘Thank you’ – Maya Angelou
Oprah explained, “You say thank you, because you know there is a clearing, a path that will be made on the other side of that, that allows you to use that failure as information.”
This is why week after week I encourage you to “Go live life out loud and then come back & tell your girl all about it!”
I love you guys, be blessed! xoxo CanDe