I haven’t written on my blog in a very long time, but I feel like that I should again. I share on here a lot about my struggles with depression and the things I am going through and the reason I do that is because I think it is important that we talk about it and not keep it quiet. I came across a bunch of quotes the other day and two of them really hit home. “A lot of people don’t realize that depression is an illness. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it.” (Jonathan Davis) “Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem.” (David D. Burns)
Depression is unpredictable. I can usually feel when it is starting up, but you never know how bad it might get. Sometimes I start to fall into the black hole, but it doesn’t get as bad as I thought it would be and other times it hits you without much warning and it hits you hard. I am usually a very aggressive depression type, become snappy and angry for no reason, yet lately that has changed to being emotional and very sensitive. In a way that is a good thing because I am less angry and snappy with my family, yet for me this is harder because I have never been a very emotional person and so even though I am fine with other people crying and showing emotions, I have a hard time being that way myself. I want to be seen as strong and someone who can handle anything.
Wednesday I had one of those really bad days. This past week I noticed I was kind of slipping into a depression, but you hope things will not get that bad. Well it did and I was really struggling. My first thought is always I can do this alone and I am not going to let anyone see me suffer, but as the day progressed, I noticed how bad I was getting and your thinking really drifts off when you are in such a bad state. So I texted one of my awesome friends and told her how bad I was. She replied and told me that I should ask for a priesthood blessing. (A priesthood blessing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS Church] is a “prayer for healing, comfort or counsel given by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, who lays his hands on the head of the person receiving the blessing.”) But that meant I would have to ask for help. I am not good at that at all, especially when I am an emotional mess. I don’t want people to think I am weak.
I fought it most of the day, but eventually gave in and knew I had to do something because this was getting worse and not better.The worst about depression is that within minutes you feel lonely, completely worthless and unloved. It is a horrible feeling.
So since my husband wasn’t around I actually pushed my silly pride aside and contacted one of my friends who came over with her husband so I could talk and get a blessing. Another friend was over too and she too listened and we talked for hours.
It was so good to feel loved and like someone cared. I don’t know how bad I would have gotten had I not reached out, but I am glad I was willing to get over myself and do something about it because Heavenly Father truly loves all of us and he puts special people in our lives to help us through really tough times.
Depression is not just about struggle though because believe it or not there are good things that come with depression. First of all if you know how bad it feels to be really down and low, you can appreciate the good and sunny times much more. It is also easier to empathize with those who struggle with depression or other mental illnesses and you learn to really rely on your faith in God because if anyone knows what you are going through it is Him. The trick is to remember those things when you are in a depression.
All of that being said, something I am really grateful for is the fact that I am not alone and that I am learning that reaching out and letting others help me is a good thing. I don’t have to do this alone. I know I still have long ways to go because asking for help is not easy, but I hope it will get better as I practice it more and more. As I have been taught by a few people now, it is okay to hurt, it is okay to show your soft side and it is okay to ask for help. “I don’t always have to be the tough gal!”