Today is what I believe to be the second annual #DayOfLight.
This event was established to bring depression out of the darkness and into the light.
I wrote last year - with loads of resources and information and the perspective of someone who is an advocate for mental health.
I write this year with similar information, but the reminder that I know of what I speak.
Have I ever really been diagnosed with depression? No. Not really.
I've always fallen more on the anxiety side of the spectrum**.
I've never hesitated to discuss the anxiety I experienced during pregnancy.
The anxiety that kept me awake.
That rushed through my veins like the blood keeping me alive.
Fortunate that the anxiety that I experienced during my pregnancy set me up for awareness when my baby came. The awareness I needed to manage my emotions, moods, anxiety, triggers and then some. This awareness in conjunction with my doctors? Led me to a less anxious postpartum period.
Saying that isn't always easy. Sometimes I've felt "less than" in comparison to the many mamas out there opening themselves raw to share their stories. I admit it. And I know it's foolish. My word, my experience, my heart and my story? All mine. Their stories? All theirs. And that's okay.
But I've gone off on a bit of a tangent. That's not unusual. *wink*
I've talked freely about grief and loss. Written so much. So many words. Talked about the way I've struggled to bounce back after losing my father. The way that my heart hurts as I pine for more time.
The anniversary of my father's passing snuck up on me just as the weather began to change.
I knew it was coming. There was no way I could not.
How to be prepared? How to find oneself ready to recognize an anniversary of time lost?
It's practically impossible.
I found myself trudging through.
I didn't really talk about it.
Didn't really write about it.
I held onto it.
Didn't let go.
I don't know that I'm past it yet.
Am I supposed to be?
Is it grief I am stuck in or am I depressed?
Do the two go hand in hand?
Does it matter whether I have a name for crawling back into bed and hiding beneath the covers?
An official diagnosis that represents why I want to avoid the phone calls that come during the day because I'm home. Alone. And I don't HAVE to talk to anyone. Do I need that name?
The sun hides and so do I.
I can't tell you the last time I went for a walk, even though I know, I KNOW I need to.
I've found other ways to work on my health. My fitness. Sure. It's not the fresh air I need, but it's SOMEthing.
It's still there.
I made it through the holidays.
I have people who love me.
Who need me.
Who support me.
And you do, too.
No matter how hard it seems. How much pain you might be experiencing. How much you want to keep the curtains closed and pull the blankets tightly around you.
You have people.
You're NOT alone.
Depression is rough.
And it's real.
Never let anyone make you feel otherwise.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
* Support is available 24/7. All calls are confidential.
Postpartum Support International: 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)
* email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Brooks Hope Center: 1-800-442-HOPE (4673)
* For Spanish speaking support: 1-800-SUICIDA (784-2432)
* Befrienders Worldwide
* Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
* International Association for Suicide Prevention
Online Chat Support:
Want to join in and post something for today's #DayOfLight? Find out how over at Pushing Lovely.
Because of the emotional content of this post I'm linking up today with Shell over at Things I Can't Say. Her weekly Pour Your Heart Out link-up is a place to go when you want to be heard and feel like someone is seeing your words. I thank her for that unconditionally supportive home when I have things like this I want to share.
** Note: Spectrum is a weird word. My husband and I were just discussing that last night, in fact. It has connotations of various illnesses and diagnoses, and makes people react differently when they hear it. Here I use it to represent depression and anxiety. Perhaps that's not a "spectrum" - but the word works. **