This morning I found myself having a conversation with a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known for over 10 years now. This conversation was prompted by a post I made:
This prompted an impromptu dialogue between both of us. During that conversation she expressed her thoughts about her own struggle with depression. The things she said really tugged on my heart strings but furthermore reaffirmed my desire to advocate for mental health awareness.
People struggling with mental health of any sort often if not always feel very isolated and misunderstood or not understood at all. Too many times people just don’t understand what depression really is or what it means so in attempts to be helpful they end up being far more hurtful. I even touched on this in my last post Dummies Guide to Depression. It is incredibly frustrating to feel as if no one understands you.
I am here to remind you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I understand, I understand so much that I am willing to share the sordid and unflattering details of my journey just so you whomever you might be, understands that this is not a battle you are enduring alone. Though our symptoms or disorders or struggles may differ; we’re still fighting the same war.
I want to remind you that those inevitable hopeless days, self loathing, sadness and emptiness don’t have to be everyday. There are tools and steps to help us throughout the battles. Soldiers never go to war without artillery or protection. So when you’re going through it; try to remember the ARMOUR method:
Ask for help even when you feel ashamed
Remember that what you feel in those moments don’t really define you as a person
Make an appointment with a psychologist so you can get help
Open up to your doctor in the most honest way; this allows for you to receive the best care
Understand that you are not weak or broken; you are HUMAN
Recognize your triggers and work to avoid them
This fight is not your own even when it feels like it is. If you don’t have family or close friends as a support system; reach out to any online support group or contact any crisis center so that you can create your own support community. If you do have family and friends; EXPRESS yourself! Never silence your voice for fear of what others might say or think.
The most valuable tool we have is our voice, our experience. If we share it, explain it, we are providing people with knowledge that may benefit them or the next person. Every person will not accept it; but for every person who doesn’t get it; there are thousands more who will. You never know who’s life you might change just by by being honest about your own journey.
Mental health disease is nothing to be ashamed of. Every day you get up and keep going you are living testimony to just how resilient we can be.
As always, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self harm; please contact:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline call 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Line 741741
Knowledge is Power