Depression is a topic that is typically avoided for many reasons. Some people feel they need to be strong for those around them. Sometimes it’s just simply frowned upon to discuss. More often than not, people want to be understood and felt like nobody around them can relate to their issues. I was officially diagnosed with mild to moderate depression and mild anxiety about a year ago. Though, looking back, I can tell I’ve had it much longer; this was the first time I addressed it.
Everyone’s depression is different. Triggers are different and the process of working through the depressive states is also very different. My depression feels empty. I have no desire to do anything but sleep. My eating habits vary, but mostly I experience loss of appetite. My depression feels lonely. I feel like nobody will ever want to marry and start a family with me. I lose sight of my dreams. I feel like I’ll never accomplish anything. I feel like I’ll be at home for the rest of my life. When I slip into a funk, I often have to find new ways to work my way out. Some people may turn to drugs or sex. While marijuana has helped me in the past, I don’t ever feel like buying it. Sex sometimes makes me feel empty or makes the depressive state worse. Others may turn to yoga, painting, or even just setting a good routine. Painting has worked for me before, but as an artistic person, I have to be inspired to paint and the depression usually takes the inspiration away.
The worst feeling, for me, is when I don’t know how to work my way out. I have concluded that one of my triggers is heartbreak. The initial trigger then spirals to different emotions and feelings. For instance, when I broke up with my ex (nearly two months ago) I was triggered. Things ended semi-badly and it sent me into a downward spiral. From there, I lost motivation for life. I’ve felt lost. I haven’t known what I want to do anymore. The goals I had created, involved him. All I knew is that I wanted to change everything. Quit my job, live somewhere new, and simply live. I usually have a plan for things and then a partial backup plan. I had nothing and it added to my stress.
Then came the voices. The voices in my head have gotten bad once before and now they were back. We aren’t talking about the multiple personality voices. Just the bad thoughts. Plenty of times on the way to or from work they told me to drive off a bridge or take a curve too fast. “There will be no more worry,” they echoed in my head. “Just do it. It’ll look like a tragic accident. The people who love you will move on. Maybe you’ve touched enough lives so your death will give them motivation to succeed,” they said. I gripped my steering wheel and pictured the people I love. I pictured their crying faces at my funeral. I pictured my mom wandering around with a blank stare on her face because she was distraught. Distraught because I’d never expressed to her how bad my depression was and then I had gone. How could I ever bring my mother that much pain? How could I do that to my loved ones? This fight is bigger than me. It’s hard, but one day I will look back and be glad that I did not listen to the voices.
I wrote a poem in the midst of my darkness. It helped me by writing it and maybe it will help someone else who reads it. Maybe they will remember that they are worth more than the voices tell them.
Black Girls Don’t Cry
Black girls don’t cry, but they hold back the tears
Black girls don’t cry, and they don’t talk about their fears.
Black girls are strong and must keep their heads held high.
But Black girls don’t cry.
Black girls are beautiful and majestic beings.
But there are things a Black girl doesn’t want you seeing.
In a dark room at night, when she’s out of sight. A Black girl cries.
The Black girl cries of a broken heart.
The Black girl doesn’t talk about it, because she doesn’t know where to start.
The black girl sometimes has bad thoughts in her mind.
She tries new distractions, but none help her fully unwind.
Black girls don’t cry.
Black girls won’t cry.
Black girls hold your heads high.
Black girls aim your goals beyond the sky.
Black girls you’re worth it, don’t let anyone say you’re not.
Black girls you’re amazing, even when you’re going through a lot.
Black girls you ARE stronger than your downs.
Black girls if you need to remember you’re loved, just look around.
June 12, 2018
To whoever is reading this:
Your life is priceless. You ARE loved. If you ever are down and are contemplating the worth of your life, email me at [email protected] We can talk about it. I know sometimes you feel like others don’t understand, but I do. Feel free to reach out and maybe we can get through our issues together.