Today, I’m choosing to be brave and share with you that I’m fighting depression. Honestly though, I hate talking about myself. I hate putting myself out there in a vulnerable position for people to criticize me, look down on me, or even feel sorry for me. I would rather people talk about themselves. It makes them feel happy and you can tell that they love who they are. Not that it’s a bad thing, because that’s what I wish I could do as well.
I’m most often described as fearless. I don’t know why. I understand I take risks and I’m ready to jump into any situation, but honestly, I’m not fearless. I have plenty of fears. Fear that one day I will find staying indoors more comforting than sunshine on my face. Fear that I will shut down and disconnect myself from everyone I hold dear. Fear that all the sadness and anxiety will finally break me. Fear that my mental state will be the only definition of who I am. This is why I hate talking about myself.
The point of sharing this with you isn’t to place blame or gather sympathy, but to share that depression can happen to anyone and that mental health is an important discussion that we need to have. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 out of 4 adults in America will experience mental illness this year alone. Millions of individuals are struggling with mental health issues and passing judgement on him/her only perpetuates the sense of loneliness, despair, and pain. It keeps mental health as a taboo subject.
This is why I am sharing my story. Today is National Depression Screening Day – as part of the Mental Illness Awareness Week. So I ask you to take a moment today to learn about mental illness. Find out if you can take the depression screening. Become more aware and knowledgeable on mental health. By doing this, we can then have serious, save, and open discussions about mental health. It’s time, don’t you think?
‘Til the next time.