I had just returned from a trip of a lifetime. It was my first time out of the country and I had attended my best friend’s wedding. I was on a “life high.” I was so excited to come home to not only see my babies but also to tell my friends and family about how much fun I had. What I didn’t realize is that my “life high” would be coming to a screeching halt.
I have always considered myself to be a confident person. I have been a “big girl” my entire life and my size has never been an issue. Heck, my personal motto when I was in high school was, ” I would rather be fat than ugly any day.” I taught myself how to do my own makeup by watching YouTube and I have become an avid wearer of bikinis, but behind that smile and outward appears of confidence I was DEPRESSED.
After coming home from my vacation, I entered a room in my life that I have never been in before. The room was dark, with mirrors on all the walls and I was standing in the middle of the room alone; with all the mirrors showing me a reflection of just how alone and out of my body I felt. I was at an all-time low, and I had no idea how to escape that room. I remember having a cold that I could not get rid of and my cold was making me have some insomnia, so I made an appointment with my family doctor to get some antibiotics for what I thought was a cold. During my appointment, my doctor informed me that I didn’t need antibiotics and she was worried about me not being able to sleep. At that very moment, I broke down and cried to a complete stranger. I cried harder than I had cried in my entire life. My doctor saw my broken spirit and she started the process of its repair. She prescribed me a mild antidepressant called Celexa and told me to take it at night because it would help me sleep. Leaving my doctor’s office, I was so embarrassed. Depression was now a part of my health history and I was not happy about it, in fact, it made me feel even worst. Being a nurse I knew a lot about the stigma that comes behind mental health and now I was a part of that number. It took the medication about two weeks to start working. Once the medication started working I started to sleep better and I started to feel like that woman that I looked like from the outside. The confident woman that I appeared to be was the woman that I was becoming mentally. And that room that was once dark started to have little openings of light, and the reflection in the mirrors was one that I admired
I have a mental illness. I suffer from depression. Those are two sentences that I never thought I would ever say but mental illness is a part of me. I wore a mask, a mask of confidence that was hiding the way I really felt inside. I know that mental illness is a touchy subject to a lot of people. No matter how confident a person might feel we all fight battles within ourselves that we sometimes don’t know how to handle or feel like we are battling them alone. I here to say that if you are suffering from a mental illness you are not alone.
The Depression Hot Line: 877-317-7186
Suicide Prevention: 1-800-274-8255