Good Morning and Happy Friday, Beautiful People!
The following blog post was inspired by a conversation I had with a coworker earlier this week. She shared with me an assignment she had her clients do while facilitating a counseling group. The clients were required to write a letter to their mental illness. This activity piqued my interest and I decided to sit down and address my issues with depression.
26 September 2014
There are so many things that I can say to you and they wouldn’t be very kind words. However, I’m much bigger than that. I do have the right to vent my frustrations at you for the all missed opportunities that have occurred in my life when I felt fatigued; lost my appetite; experienced difficulty thinking and concentrating; and wrestled with insomnia, extreme guilt, and suicidal ideation. Just the thought of writing that previous sentence upsets me, and if you were physically sitting in front of me, I’d probably knock the shit out of you, but I will not go there. Ever. That’s totally unnecessary. It’s impossible for me to change the past because yesterday is behind me.
As strange as this may sound, I want to take this opportunity to thank you depression for the positive impact you’ve had in my life. It sounds weird doesn’t it for me to give you thanks for all the things I mentioned in the above paragraph? And it sounds foolish to say that you’ve had a positive impact in my life, but you did. If it wasn’t for you, depression, I would have never taken the time to seek treatment, heal my broken spirit, rediscover a new career choice, assist others struggling with mental illness, reconnect with my spirituality, and re-embrace my creativity. In addition, this life-changing experience has taught me that you have not and will not define me. I’m not a depressed person; I’m a person who manages depression.
You’ve changed my life for both the good and the bad, depression, but I choose to acknowledge the good work I’ve done and am currently doing to manage you. Sometimes I can still feel your presence, observing and waiting for that perfect moment to strike again. Yes, I do, but I’m ready for you. I’ve discovered so many coping skills to address you like exercising, journaling, listening to inspirational music, using positive self-talk, praying, meditating, and, most importantly, reaching out to my loved ones. Not only have I used these techniques to manage you, depression, but I’ve shared them with others to assist them to address their personal mental health issues.
Well, depression, it’s been real sharing my thoughts with you, but I must be going. I would tell you take care of yourself, but you’re too destructive in nature. Instead, I’ll practice my own advice because this is my life and I intend to do my very best to take care of me.