If It Doesn’t Bring You Joy

lifeDepression can really keep you away from the things you love. I’ve been “away” from this blog for exactly one year. Its crazy. To me it had just felt like a mere few months, but that’s how it works. It robs you of your time and if you don’t get a hold of it will take away your joy. Life is hard for all of us. For me 2018 was a blur.  To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. There were with issues with my son, my health, stress, i performed CPR on a guest at my job who had passed away and ultimately it was just too much for me to handle mentally and i checked out. I felt like I was watching myself participate in life but i couldn’t really feel any of it. I tried in vain to run it off, tried Yoga, read all kinds of books and then would end up alone in the house and would concoct these scenarios in my head.

catsMy most recurring fear was that my son was going to move away and i would live in this great big house alone. I would die undiscovered on my recliner and my poor cat would have to eat my face to survive and then by the time they found me it was way too late and it would affect the resale value of my house because I’m sure the carpet would be ruined.

No one said depression scenarios were pretty. Knowing that something was really off and probably PCOS related, I made an appointment to see my endocrinologist. I had been gaining weight after my Lap-band removal and just couldn’t get a handle on it and i was certain my hormones were out of wack. The nurse practitioner, an angel, diagnosed me with depression and prescribed me some medication and realized that yes, i was deficient in some vitamins and all that could lead to depression.  It had to be tweaked a few times but eventually it gave me the clarity that i needed. My son and i were able to go to therapy to just deal with all the life we had been handling on auto pilot for the past 5 years. Life as a single mom had definitely taken it toll on me, but even worse it had taken its toll on my child, who missed his father and was taking his absence out on me. The teenage years are not for the weak.  I’m glad to say that we are now healthier in spirit and mind.

 

I share this because even in 2019 I feel that there’s a stigma with mental health and there really shouldn’t be. If you don’t feel yourself, please get help. My only regret is that i had gotten so used to feeling awful and decided that it was normal and  didn’t speak up sooner about my stress or how badly i had been feeling so i could feel better sooner. Of course, i know that this is easier said than done.

 

marie

Once the clouds were lifted, it did force me to take stock of my life and I realized that I didn’t have to put up with feeling bad. That it was not worth one more moment of my time. I had spent so much time feeling awful that i wanted to try my best to do my part. In my case that meant that I had to really take ownership of myself and my attitude. I had to reevaluate some relationships and I decided to live by the mantra ….If it doesn’t bring you joy be done with it. (This was pre Marie Kondo, for those that are now applying her awesome techniques to your lives) but the same concept applies. If it tastes bad, spit it out. If it’s a bad book, stop reading it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. No is a complete sentence. I realized that i had to stop punishing myself for my past and trying to make up for it and let it go. That i needed to live for the future and start to write my own story rather than letting someone else ghost write my life for me.

So I tried a few things. I ran my first half marathon. Well, let me correct that, i walked, jogged and almost died at mile 12 of my first half. I traded in my old car that was breaking down a lot, I attended weekly therapy sessions. I started to unapologetic-ally tell the truth (sucked for others but for me it was liberating, this year I’m working on a softer approach without sacrificing the honesty)  I turned 39 surrounded by amazing beautiful women (the sisterhood is a beautiful thing) and i decided that i was just going to go for it. My most courageous thing that year? on New Years Eve, when my son left to hang out with his dad and i was alone i decided to get dressed and go to a bar to bring in the new year. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal to most. But after a year of practically being a  shut in other than work and kid practices, trust me anyone who knew me personally was celebrating. I also joined the new Kiwanis club they were starting in the area and became President. Crazy pants I know.

 

 

So that’s it. I’m going to commit to blogging more. There are some fun things coming up. But I wanted to just let anyone out there know that there are better days, even when all you see are clouds. It took me a year, but I’m back and i missed myself terribly.

I also wanted to add that sometimes, talking to your loved ones about your depression is hard. And calling one of those help lines feels weird. But I know that this new era has made texting really comfortable, so if you need to just talk, you don’t have to be suicidal to get help, you can reach out to https://www.crisistextline.org/depression/ or text the number below for help.

Text+HOME+to+741741+for+free+24+7+crisis+support+in+the+US

Keep being awesome guys and thank you for listening.

❤ Denise

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2 comments

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  1. Shmika

    Life gives us lemons we make some hard lemonade 🙂 if you ever need a ear or shoulder i am never too busy for you my friend u know i understand these boys and bring a single parent. I am here for you and i love you always praying for you. We are in this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Kee

    I cried after the first few sentences. As a retired counselor who has struggled with mental health my entire life, I thank you. I have lost so much in my life! My worst nightmares happened. I still struggle with forgiving myself for feeling like a failure, at times. However, over the past year or so, I began letting go of things that hurt me. I am doing so much better!!! I find myself saying, life is good!!! Bless you my friend whom I’ve never met.

    Liked by 1 person

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