The Laundry: Mental Health

I have spent years battling depression, but I didn’t tell anyone because I could barely admit it to myself. It wasn’t until I had lunch with a friend and she broke down in tears and told me that she had been in therapy. I broke down too and  finally told someone about my struggles. I don’t know why I was so afraid of the stigma. I now know that I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I also know that there is always hope. My depression is manageable, and when I feel like it’s not, I have people in my life that I can talk to.

– K

I have been to the place where I thought I had no other choice but to end my life. It can sometimes be so easy to get to that place. But I have had people in my life that always stepped in. I am in a good place right now, but I worry that I will go there again. I make sure that therapy is a part of my schedule and that I have people in my life who will check in on me. I know there is always hope, but depression scares the shit out of me.

– Rachel

I hurt. Everyday. Depression makes my body physically ache. I hate it.

– M

I’ve found my peace through Jesus – there are many, MANY times I didn’t think I’d make it throiugh. Thank God I’ve never been on meds for it, but was able to move on from low moments in my life. Thanks for sharing your story – I know how hard it is sometimes.

– Krissy H from All in a Day’s Work

I also battle anxiety, and it is tough every day. I have good days and bad. It's so frustrating at times, but you just have to keep pushing forward. Like you said it's all about the "baby steps."

-Logan

Some things that no one knows, I feel I can share here: When I was a teenager, I held scissors in my hands for well over three hours, wondering what would happen if I tried to cut my wrist. I actually made a few little knicks before putting them down. I was driving down the road once (actually on several occassions) and thought about swerving off and hitting a light post, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with anything anymore. When I moved out of the house with my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, I sat in my house for months without coming out. I went days/weeks without showers, washing my hair, some days I didn’t even brush my teeth, because it took too much energy. I still go a week without washing my hair, I just put it in a pony tail and hope no one touches it. I sleep – A LOT. I find myself crying in my house alone for no apparent reason. I am sad. Very sad. The only person that knows I do this is my therapist. I have a therapist I go see when I feel like the world is too much. I actually took almost 8 months off of work, because I couldn’t bring myself to talk to others. I have depression, and wonder if I may be manic, due to having incredibly good days, and incredibly bad days. I am always thankful, and know I have a good life. I am well aware I have a family that loves me, and friends that will always be there, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. I take a “happy pill” daily, and know when I don’t take it, I will have anxiety attacks. My first panic attack was the night before my 25th birthday. I still have them when said “happy pill” isn’t taken for a few days. -Amber

I suffered from frequent panic attacks for years, so I drank myself into oblivion to try to keep them away. It didn’t work. I found myself in AA, and am now a happy, sober Mama to three beautiful children. I am still afraid of the panic attacks, but I am not afraid to call on my support system. I also have an amazing therapist. – SoberMama

I have Bipolar II Disorder. I still look back at my behavior in the years before I was diagnosed and wonder why I didn’t, well . . .also, why no one else saw the warning signs. It’s easy to get angry, but I just try to look ahead and focus on m mental health. – J

I was bulimic all through college and no one knew – or if they did, they didn’t try to help me. I think my binge/purge habits just blended in to the binge drinking habits of my friends. – Cat

I am the pastor of a church in Virginia and I suffered from panic attacks and clinical depression for six months before I sought help. It took me three more months to tell anyone – including my wife – that I was in therapy and on anti-depressants. I was afraid that I would be seen as weak, since I am usually the helper, but everyone I shared my struggle with was very supportive. I am still embarrassed to admit that I was so embarrassed to tell anyone about my struggle. I see now that I was just afraid of the stigma – – PastorinVA

My oldest sister lives with mental illness. She has all of her life. At first meeting her you would never know, but being her sister…. it’s something that is hard to miss. I blame her childhood and her not ever being able to move past it… I blame my parents for not recognizing and helping her. It is tough because only she can decide to control her symptoms.. We can all stand by and try not to trigger her symptoms but only she can decide to get the help she needs. It sucks. -A

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