Last night I saw post on instagram. It was by someone that I follow, but do not have a personal connection with. A simple illustration with the words, "Mental Health is as important as physical health." It struck me.
Within her caption she described her symptoms of depression. It really resonated with me. Why? Why would this stand out to someone, like me, who is known as being outwardly HAPPY? I'll tell you. I have never formally been diagnosed with depression, but I have dealt with the same feelings and emotions, she described, since having children.
And the thing is IT COMES AND GOES.
- Self deprecation
- Lack of interest
- Lack of confidence that I've always had
- Reclusive behavior (not wanting to shower, get dressed or do anything for that matter!)
- Irritability (my poor husband!)
- Weight gain (this has been the hardest)
The list could go on and on I'm sure. Over the past year, off and on (mostly on) I have dealt with a silent battle of these things. Being a mom is hard. Being a business owner is hard. BUT my business, that requires me to be social and outgoing, has kept me from getting worse. It brings me JOY.
This is a really hard post to make. I am in NO WAY an expert or claim to have answers to depression. With the help of my patient husband, Justin, I have been trying to remedy my symptoms in a few different ways:
- Friends (Push yourself to go out with friends even if you don't feel up to it!)
- Ask for Help (Tell someone how you're feeling and come up with a plan)
- EXERCISE (I always feel better once I'm done even if I don't want to go)
- Serve Others (When you seek to help someone else, it makes you feel happier)
- Pray (No matter your beliefs, outwardly express your feelings vocally or in your heart. Trust me, someone is listening CARES and LOVES YOU)
- Make a list of things to look forward to. (Set goals, have something to work towards)
Why am I posting this? I don't know. I have been feeling a a tug at my heart. A desire to express myself simply for the fact that it might help someone. People fight battles every day that we don't know about. BE KIND. Try to be compassionate and see the world how they see it from their point of view. Express gratitude and include others regularly. I'm trying. Will you?
I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to feel JOY. We are not meant to struggle through life in darkness and sadness. So I challenge you today to be a better friend, spouse, parent and just overall human being. Let light win. Let happiness be your goal.
I'd love to hear from you if you struggle with this. Please know you are not alone!