Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia, also suffer from depression and anxiety. So this week, I have asked my friend Jess Bongiorno to share about the topic. If you have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that she had written encouraging words before about facing depression. I think these Letters to Friends is a great place to share her words today. Click to read more.
It has been a while since I have written. Suffice it to say that the number one thing robbed from a person with anxiety and/or depression is time. We lose it so easily. Mostly because time has no meaning; pretty much everything has lost meaning- or means so much that it becomes too much to face, day in and day out.
And of all the things in life that I have struggled with- struggling with both anxiety and depression has been a completely draining experience, to say the least. These struggles are so misunderstood by so many that finding the will to stand up against them can seem impossible.
struggling with both anxiety and depression has been a completely draining experience
Depression Robs You of Life
Forget about the fact that depression robs you of any sense of life and that anxiety makes life oftentimes too difficult to face in even small moments broken down in a day. When you add to the fact that society as a whole has a stigma attached to these mental illnesses that is one of shame and weakness, a person is left to only feel as though they are being kicked when they are at their lowest, that somehow they are less of a human and they cannot function in society because of these issues.
For many years, I wanted those around me to understand my struggles with depression and anxiety. That the days spent in bed because of that deep pain that hurt too much to face the day were not days spent feeling sorry for myself. On the contrary, I was ill. And just like a physical sickness can keep a person bedridden, so can a mental illness.
And despite feeling alone, (because probably few understand what you are going through) there are many out there who do.
My struggle with depression and anxiety stole years of my life. Robbed me of knowing myself, loving myself and finding inner peace.
So what lead me to a healthier place today?
Well, actually it took many years and at the end of those years, were the last couple of months when every moment of the day was consumed with the longing of my life to end.
Yes. I thought about dying.
Not in the sense that I thought of ways to end my life but instead, for me, it was a thing which the moment I woke and not ending until I fell asleep- did I long for my life to end. I wanted to die.
WOAH! Jess, that’s too dark!
Yea well, get over yourself, because it is a reality for those of us who face these issues.
Anyways, after about a month and a half of dealing with these deep, dark longings, soon my work became affected.
I couldn’t get my average workloads done anymore.
It was impossible to focus on anything and now, more than ever, longing for the end left me with no ambition.
I knew I had a choice to make.
I chose to do something about what I was struggling with.
It was an internal choice. One I made for the first time without trying to explain myself to anyone. I knew the truth about myself more than anyone and I knew that I needed help.
Making that first decision on my own was the most subtle form of strength I found in me.
And just like a workout out- my mental strength began to grow the more I began to face my issues- acknowledge that depression and anxiety were not healthy and even though I grew comfortable with these thought patterns that I knew so well- the moment I began to separate these issues from defining me was the moment I found strength.
the moment I began to separate these issues from defining me was the moment I found strength.
I am not depressed- I am a person who struggles with depression.
It’s a subtle yet important difference.
It is the platform of strength for those of us who struggle with issues because for the first time ever- it is changing what we focus on.
Letting go of others- of the attachment to others- of the understanding of others.
Letting go of our performance and failures and instead noticing that situation and people are so incredibly fickle but you can be so incredibility calm because you can let go of all of that.
Now, I’m not saying the moment you understand these issues and how they affect you as an individual you be instantly cured of these issues.
I struggle every day with anxiety and depression, however, making the choice to take the right steps for yourself will start you on the path you need to be on. The one for yourself- and no it’s not selfish, it’s healthy.
Every person’s path is different
Some may involve medication, therapy, learning healthy boundaries and coping mechanisms- but the first step- is to decide for yourself and let go of everything and the opinions of everyone else.
It is a step toward self-respect- something most of us don’t fully comprehend.
The ideas of self-respect, self-love, these seems selfish to those of us who spend most of all of our time thinking of others. But it is the right step forward and one I encourage you on.
God created you too. You are worth something!
and the moment you begin to accept that as true is a life-changing, empowering healthy moment.
Thank you Jess, for your willingness to be open and frank with us. Depression is truly a major issue for many these days. We pray for you and with you as you face depression and anxiety.