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

Shay




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5 Comments

    • Jay

      Great article I myself Suffered from depression and was medicated for about 7 years it’s a subject that individuals in The black community try to steer clear of An D overlook it but to be honest its more common than you think we get so caught up in trying to be “The strong Black woman” that it begins to weaken our drive and kill our spirits. I’m so very proud of you shay in the short period of time that I’ve Known and gotten to know you. You have been A great person inside And out. I love you.

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      • Anonymous

        ??????

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    • Veronica

      You are an incredible young woman. Your Courage to step out and sPeak up Only validates what i recognized in you the FirSt time i met you. LOve you.

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      • Shay

        Thanks ms price!!!! Love you too!!!!

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    • CERLIRIA

      Wowwww…. It takes a STRONG women to admit SOMETHING like that bc as women we always want to seem strong or like we have it all Together but we dont we all have strUggles…. this is such a teStimony & ik you are inspiring so many women bc you def in me…..

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