Depression, Anxiety & PTSD
I don’t even have the words.
This one hit way to close to home for me.
Way to close. Way to personal.
And not just because I lost my first ever best friend.
But because- that could have easily been me.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt that pain, it’s a horrible dark pain.
It’s an indescribable feeling that I can’t even comprehend myself.
It’s a pain that doesn’t care who you are, if you are a good mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend - it has no preference.
It doesn’t care that you are happy, bubbly, unique and original on the outside.
It’s a pain that no one truly can see because the bearer of the pain hides it ever so well- and pretends that everything is fine.
It’s a deep dark sad place.
The fact that our friend felt so bad, that the pain consumed her so much, that she felt like there was no where else to turn, rocks me to my core and makes my heart ache like it never has before. I am truly heartbroken.
I feel like all we ever share on Facebook is our good moments, our highlight reel. Which is great, of course I want to celebrate the good, and I want others to succeed and be happy. But I also want you to know its okay to be real. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to need help.
I do try my best to be honest and transparent with my life on here, but often times when we publicly share struggles or state that we have a chronic illness or are suffering with mental health issues we are often brushed off or labeled as seeking attention.
It’s so hard to know how much to really share and how much to hold back.
Wanting to be oh so real - but not too negative or too needy.
We are so overly connected with technology, media, status, and checking in on peoples virtual lives, that we often overlook the real connections in our lives.
How many times have you been in a restaurant and have seen an entire table of people staring at their phones. We are right there in front of people but we aren’t THERE. So consumed with checking in seeing how everyone else is doing online that we don’t even acknowledge the people right there in front of us. I’m guilty of it. I do it all the time.
We just assume that people read our facebook status, Insta-stories & snapchats so that when we pass by in real life -
We often offer a trivial, “hi how are you- I’m good, you? Eh, I’m busy, but good.” Small chit chat and chatter. And then we move along, being our busy selfs - without ever really asking the deeper questions.
We don’t take the time to truly get to know one another anymore.
We are so busy and so consumed with life, plans and other things, that we forget to connect, we forget to form a bond and a forget to build relationship. Life is all about relationships - and we are losing them to our phones.
Most of you know that I struggle with my mental health, depression, anxiety and major PTSD from an abusive relationship.
Maybe most of you know, maybe most of you don’t know?
I’m currently partaking in a mental health study with the University of Michigan. It aims to work with people struggling with PTSD and/or bipolar depression.
But I don’t often talk about how hard it is to truly live day to day with it.
I don’t really share with you how much it really affects and impacts our daily life.
How hard it is on my husband to know that he can’t do anything to “fix me.”
I don’t share the mundane in and the outs because I’m afraid that people will get sick and tired of hearing about how much I struggle every day.
The stuff you see me post about my workouts & nutrition is part of what I do during my day, but it’s not my full day. It’s usually the happiest part of my day. So it’s why I talk about it so much, it’s why I post about it so much.
My day is filled with mess, chaos, screaming at my child, crying because she’s so stinking stubborn, throwing my hands up in the air saying enough is enough!
Questioning if I am a good mother.
Questioning if God made a mistake in making me a mother.
Asking my husband if he thinks that he would be better off without me.
What if I just left him and Jade?
I feel like such a burden to them and that maybe he could find someone else that would do a better job of meeting his needs.
These are the types of things that run though my mind. ALL. THE. TIME.
I have flashbacks. Not so many now. It’s been 6 years since I left, and I can’t believe I still have them. Vivid ones. Terrifying ones - that leave me in such a panic that I wake up wondering if I’m back in PA? Back in the abuse? Wondering if my current reality is just a dream.
There are times when Dallas will unknowingly do something to trigger thoughts or feelings of my past, and I get angry, I snap and I’m mean.
It’s not his fault, sometimes I don’t even know all of my own triggers.
He hasn’t done anything bad to me, but he ends up taking the brunt of it all. We are working on this. But it’s a struggle.
The feelings of insecurity creeep back in.
The feelings of, “Am I ever going to be good enough?” Seep though.
The feelings of “I don’t ever do anything right” and that I’m a bad person come back.
The feelings that I don’t deserve Dallas, that he is “too good” for me.
They are uncontrollable.
Even when I tell myself, that they aren’t true.
There is such a stigma attachted to mental health.
The kind of stigma of, “Well its just your thoughts and feelings, so change them.” “Just change it.” “You shouldn’t feel that way. “
Friends, I wish it was that easy. If it was, then no one would struggle.
Like I said, even my own husband (who is a saint, mind you) doesn’t understand it, or what I’m going though.
He doesn’t understand why I’m depressed because I currently legit have no reason to be.
I’m out of the abuse and I know I’ll never be treated like that ever again.
I’m with someone who loves me, unconditionally.
After struggling with infertility for just a year we had our little miracle baby.
He has a great job and is able to make enough money so I can stay home and care for our little girl.
I don’t have to work, even though I choose to, because I’m passionate about and love what I do.
I have had some major health issues the past few years, but we seem to always make it thought them okay.
He feels like he should be able to fix me by loving me enough.
By just telling me that I’m safe, that I’m fine and he’s here to protect me.
It makes him feel like a failure.
And it breaks my heart.
I wish I had the perfect answer my friends.
I wish I had a cure that could just fix it all.
But I don’t.
What I do have is HOPE.
That is what keeps me going.
Hope that the past abuse and trauma that I went though from age 14 on up to age 30 has made me stronger. It has made me the person I am today.
It has shaped and defined who I am. And I am proud of all that I have overcome.
Hope that when I share my story and my struggles that it might help just one person be brave. Just one person to say, if she did it then I can do it.
One person to say, I see you struggle but I also see that you are succeeding though the struggle.
I have the compassion, empathy and understanding to help others going though hardships- because I have been there myself. It’s a unique gift, that makes people feel super comfortable talking to me. It’s a gift that I have that makes others feel safe in knowing that I will not ever judge them.
I have hope in knowing that by sharing my struggles it helps others know that they are not alone.
My hope is in Jesus,
He saved me from my horrible past, my mistakes, my bad choices-
And I know that he can save anyone. And that He wants to save everyone.
He’s not asking you to be perfect my friends,
Perfection is impossible.
He’s just asking you to put your faith and trust in Him,
To follow his ways, his teachings, what he taught.
To try to grow, to work on yourself, and to get better daily.
There will always be setbacks.
Life is a journey. Filled with ups and downs.
There are no straight A’s.
No Perfect 10.
He grades you by Grace.
So give yourself a little Grace today,
And show some Grace & Love to those around you.
You never truly know what someone is battling.
Blessings to you my friends.
If you ever feel like you need any type of help, please reach out.
To me, to a friend, to a loved one, to a stranger.
Promise me that you will reach out and get help.
There is ALWAYS help.
There is ALWAYS HOPE.