LOOK AT ME NOW!

I saw Jacob last night, asked him if he was turning 40 this year and if we were gonna celebrate. He told me he’s turning 41. The big 4-0 was last year.

Oops.

“Sorry,” I said. “I missed it because I was going through my stupid depression.”

“Yeah, way to go and ruin things!”

We laughed.

I loved that he knew [without me saying anything] that I am at such a good point now, jokes about my depression are okay. They’re better than okay… They’re actually good. Laughter makes such wonderful medicine and Jacob is one of those people who always delivers. He cracks me up like none other with his hilarious anecdotes and off-the-wall comments. I wish he had a blog for all the ridiculous stories and jokes he has to tell. It would be pretty damn epic, I’d imagine.

Anyway… Yes, I am laughing. I am laughing at you, depression, because I beat you, I conquered. You were nothing against me and my army. We are all laughing. They helped me get through your shit and now, we see the difference these last six months have made. It’s astounding.

I didn’t give up on myself. I never will. I knew deep inside that I’d get here.

I am so grateful.

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Seasonal awareness.

My seasonal depression is taunting already, even though we still have nearly two months of summer ahead of us.

I am throwing a baby shower for Julie tomorrow, and stopped by Michael’s [the store, not my former flame] to add some final touches to the decor and favors. I hadn’t been since late spring, when I had the urge to liven up my place by decorating it with artificial flowers, and also decided to give Mom a homemade gift for Mother’s Day. I made several pairs of earrings for her – she loved them!

Upon my return this evening, I was greeted with all things fall. Browns and oranges everywhere, such hideous colors! Brown is only beautiful when it’s a skin tone, okuuuuurrr? Pumpkins galore, leaves instead of florals, HAY [really? wtf], Halloween decor. It’s all so dark and dreary and makes me sad.

After grabbing the few things I needed, I peaced out and headed to my next destination… Target.

More sadness.

The swimsuits are all on sale. Find them in the unorganized, lowly clutter of the sale section. Their previous locale, prime retail real estate, is now inhabited by cardigans, sweaters, jackets, and such. Some of the palettes are lively and bright, I’ll admit, but still. I can’t.

I’m not ready for it.

Thankfully, I live in Texas and although everything around me will be screaming FALL! – it will likely still feel like summer well through October. I must remember that. I can’t let my mind spiral out of control, not that soon, or ideally, not at all.

I need a cold beverage.

Photos worth some words.

Friends, strangers, anyone who comes across my blog and is up for reading it:

I am doing so great. I am completely off my anti-depressants and have been for nearly a month now. I am thankful they helped me get through the tough times and that I now know that if I ever need them, they can work for me. However, there is a small amount of added freedom that comes with not having to take them every day and for this, I am even more thankful.

Over the past two months, geeze, I have been having a wonderful time! I have been enjoying life, doing what I love, accepting what this universe has to offer, and surrounding myself with all things positive. What was the worst start to a year I have ever had has turned into what is becoming the best year ever! There continue to be bumps along the road, and I am not discrediting them entirely, but for the most part… I just do not care! I am here to be happy, happiness is me. It is decided.

Here are some photos documenting the best times:

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My favorite musician, Frank Turner, crowd surfing at his show. His songs “Get Better” and “The Next Storm” truly resonated with me as I navigated through my dark times. I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best… we can get better because we’re not dead yet. Yes, as long as I am still breathing, I can get better. They threw me a whirlwind, and I spat back the sea. I took a battering, but I got thicker skin and the best people I know are looking out for me. Fuck yeah. I am a badass, down but never out, and the best army imaginable at my back. I don’t wanna spend the whole of my life indoors, laying low and waiting on the next storm. I don’t wanna spend the whole of my life inside. I wanna step out and face the sunshine. Pretty self explanatory. Although life may get rough again in the future, I am going to live my time unabashedly. There will be no lamenting.

Nadia and me at the Slowdive show where I danced the night away!

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Sometimes, I want to do fun stuff, but cannot imagine who would want to do them with me. I unexpectedly scored a free buddy pass for Six Flags, made a post on Facebook in search of someone to join me, and actually ended up having several folks interested! It turned out to be a perfect day because there weren’t any lines. We rode everything within two hours!

My work fam. I am so grateful for them, and ridiculously honored to be their leader and liaison. This is us at a new live music venue in town, enjoying some of my favorite music: The Beatles!

No summer is complete without pool parties! Last summer, Nicole and I were floating around my pool while she was super-pregnant. This year, Bodhi is here and joining the fun! It is crazy how much can happen in a year, and even in shorter time periods. At this time last year, I had NO idea what the next six months had in store for me. Bodhi was the constant source of light through it all. Maybe that’s why I love him so damn much.

I recently got to see another one of my favorite bands whose music also lifts me up when I need it most: The Polyphonic Spree. Hey, it’s the sun, and it makes me smile all around, all around! I could cry listening to that song. The sun is what I miss most when I go through my seasonal depression. I am so happy summer got an early start here in Texas and I hope it stays!

My best friend and I made a random trip to New Orleans! This is us on one of their famous streetcars. What a wonderful, relaxing, yet fun getaway. This is what I need to do with my life… TRAVEL!

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Here I am on Bourbon Street! Before I left on my trip, my boss told me to have a great time and drink a hurricane for him. Done and done!

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Besties on Bourbon!

Jackson Square in the French Quarter. We did so much walking, I feel like I know my way around there pretty well now!

This was from our first night in The Big Easy. We had pretty much just landed and were ready to go! It has been decided: she and I make the perfect travel buddies!

Trivia Night with new friends! They have been inviting me out for months now, but they always go to the bar that my ex frequents. I finally decided that I did not give a fuck and went anyway. There will be no holding me back anymore!

Holy Wave’s Memorial Day show in East Dallas. I am pretty sure this bicycle shop was once Service Bar, where I spent many a drunken night in my early twenties. It was a bit surreal to be back, see it transformed… and not be wasted! I have come a long way in the last decade. Back then, I was a bit on the directionless side and felt intimidated by life. The Daisy from those days would absolutely look up to the Daisy I am now.

Goat Yoga is a thing. I am more than happy to participate, although I would rather play with the goats than do yoga, let’s be real. Again, it’s important to find the joy and do what I love. I love being outdoors, being around animals, and spending time with friends. What a wonderful way to do life!

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Blurry, but cute.

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When you are in your 30s, and your friends are in serious relationships, married, having kids… You end up hanging out with a younger crowd. And that’s okay. Aren’t they pressshhhh?

Officially became a member of Krava Maga DFW’s Run Club!

Birthday hangs with this beauty! I often feel guilty for not spending enough time with all my friends. The truth is, they are my friends for a reason. They would never hold such a thing against me. We just pick up where we left off and have a great time!

Mother’s Day with the best crew imaginable. They are the greatest people I know and I am fortunate enough to know them since the day I was born! If we could pick families, I would pick them. They are more than I could ever ask for.

I won free tickets to a music festival and lucky for me, my lovely cousin joined me!

Running a 5K to benefit the place where I got my career started: The SPCA of Texas! My, how it has grown! It will always hold a special place in my heart, as will the animals and people I met while working there!

Love this baby and this pup as if they were my own!

Me and my Bodhi!

This was my first time at Six Flags in YEARS. I am definitely happy that I bought a season pass!

Six Flags just reminds me to have fun and be a kid again! That’s all I need sometimes.

Do you have a job that introduces you to people you know will be lifelong friends? I do!

My chicas.

When I was feeling lost, my mind was lying to me, telling me that I did not have a purpose in life. This is what I do, though, this is my purpose, this is why I am here. I am an activist, constantly working to make this country and world a better place for both my fellow human beings and the rest of my fellow earthlings, the animals.

A fun night with friends inspired me to get creative again. Yet another thing that was missing from my life. That freedom and inspiration to create! I have found it again, and love it!

The last time I wore a jacket this season!

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Although I have met him several times before, this was my first time seeing him since my depression struck. I got to thank him for his music and he was as sweet as ever. Frank Turner, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a good thing I am an extrovert and able to make friends easily. I showed up to volunteer for the Beto O’Rourke campaign and quickly grouped up with these wonderful women. As we walked through South Dallas to canvass, it became apparent that we are all natural-born leaders and problem-solvers, which made for a very successful day!

I want to do all I can to ensure that this man becomes our senator. I am currently organizing my own event for next month and truly looking forward to being a leader in this campaign!

All smiles. I reunited with the lady who was having a rough time on Valentine’s Day. I wrote about her in a previous entry. It was so good to see her thriving, and she was thrilled to see me doing great as well! The bad times can’t hold us down!

KMDFWRC!!!

Kayaking! It bears repeating: I love being outdoors. Siobhain is awesome and is more than willing to join me on my adventures. I grew up just a couple of miles from White Rock Lake, which is truly a gem in the center of the city. I was happy to show my New York friend around!

What a wonderful group of empowered women, ready to take charge and take their safety into their own hands!

It is always wonderful to meet people who will be complete goobers like you. Life is short, goof around, and have some fun!!!

I am smiling just re-living it all. I knew it, that spring would be my savior and drag me out of the awful funk I was in. Now summer is officially around the corner and I am absolutely thrilled. Soon, my birthday will also arrive and the wishes I receive on that day are always so sweet and moving.

I said it a few months back and I will say it again now: FORWARD AND ONWARD, LADY!

Time to bloom.

It has been over a decade since I decided that life is too short to have kids. Now I’m starting to think that life may also be too short to train for marathons all the damn time.

I am well.

I am kicking my mental illness’s butt. I have been for the past two months. Looking back, I think the major turning point was Valentine’s Day, actually, a day I thought I would dread.

I met a woman about my age who was absolutely broken that night. She was distraught, crying, overwhelmed, and afraid. I saw so much of my former self in her and it hit me how far I had already come at that point. The contrast between us was eye-opening… I was comforting her! I was feeling well enough already to be supportive of someone else!

I realized that if I could improve by that amount in that short span of time, I could just keep doing so and be much better sooner rather than later.

And here I am.

I am enjoying life, enjoying my friendships, enjoying being myself. I AM MYSELF AGAIN! I am certainly enjoying the spring season, the warmer days, the sunnier skies, the greener trees.

I am happy again.

I have cut toxic people out of my life, I am not going out of my way to be nice to people who don’t deserve my energy, I am excluding those who I don’t necessarily want present in all the fun things that I do. What a difference! So this is growing up?

I am down to just one medication and looking forward to starting to wean myself off it in just two months, right around the official beginning of summer, my favorite season.

I am only seeing my therapist once a month now. I saw her once in March, once this month, and have a scheduled session early in May. After this next one? I don’t know. Stretch it out to six weeks? I cannot even believe I am thinking about it. When all this started, I was seeing her twice a week and would have gone even more frequently if time (both our schedules) allowed it! When I couldn’t see her, I would text her. Gosh, she’s been amazing. I am so lucky she was the first therapist I reached out to and was immediately a perfect match for me.

Anyhow, thank you so much for reading. Keep your heads up. I appreciate your support.

You can’t spell monumental without mental.

Today was monumental for me.

I’m laying on my couch, my freshly shampooed hair in a wrap, I’m wearing my super soft bathrobe, tucked underneath my favorite, most cozy blanket. I currently have three conversations going, via text messaging. This makes me feel good.

I had plans for today. Exciting plans. They had to be scratched thanks to the awful, terrible, no-good weather we are having, though. Booooo! Thunderstorms, incessant rain, and temperatures hovering around freezing all day. I woke up, got dressed, and headed to my parents’ to visit my pup and go shopping.

By the way, you know my incredible parents? The ones I mention every now and then? They have been keeping my dog at their place and taking care of him for me all month! In my completely biased opinion, they are the closest thing to angels and to saints that exist.

Early this month, when I talked to my doctor about how much trouble I was having with sleep, she told me to pay attention to all the little things that kept and/or woke me up. Noises, lights, the temperature, distractions, whatever.

I was sad to realize that more than anything else, my dog was affecting my sleep. From wanting to look out the window at night, and thus messing with the blinds [noisy]; to making himself comfortable on my bed, which leaves me with little space to get comfortable myself; to keeping me up late or waking me up early because he needs to go outside… All of this impedes me from getting a good night’s rest.

I had to do something. I live in a studio apartment, so keeping him in another room isn’t an option. I suppose I could crate him, but he’s eleven years old and has never been crated in his life [I assume this because he was an outdoor, junkyard dog until I adopted him last year]. I had to improve my sleep, though. I knew it was a key to me getting better.

And so, my parents continue to be my heroes. Parents don’t stop being parents when their kids turn eighteen and are out of the house. Not the good ones, at least. Here I am, age thirty-three, at my most desperate hour, and my parents are once again at my rescue. I asked if Bruiser could stay with them as I work to become healthy again, and without hesitation, they agreed to it.

I do not feel guilty about it because he’s in great hands. He is getting more attention than he does here alone all day, waiting for me to get home. And I simply have to get better. It will be to his benefit, too, to have a healthy momma who will take him on long walks, short runs, and trips to the dog park.

I love him so much. It was good to spend most of the day with him. The awful, terrible, no-good weather called for naps, so we lounged in my parents’ living room and dozed off for over an hour. Sleep is sleep and I was grateful to get it!

Mom made me lunch when I woke up, delicious as always. I often say she is the best cook I know, and I mean it. She is so creative, and pays such close attention to detail. She also cooks with her heart. She expresses love to others my feeding them, and I am convinced this is why everything she makes is simply amazing. I ate until I was full, which is another huge step for me.

We went shopping. 🙂

I got home a little after five, tidied up a bit, worked out (!!!!!!!), and showered.

Then… That sinking feeling of loneliness started creeping, about an hour ago. Why? Why would it? I literally spent all day with my favorite person, and with my pup, but loneliness still prevailed. It makes no sense.

As my mind started to spin out of control, I remembered that my therapist and I decided to skip our session this week. That’s how well I was doing when she and I last spoke! Today is Wednesday. I would’ve gone today, but I didn’t.

I SKIPPED A WEEK.

Maybe I shouldn’t have? Maybe I should text her? What would she tell me to do?

I thought about calling my usuals – Cristina, Sarah, Cent, Cheryl, Julie – but I stopped myself, told myself to snap out of it, to appreciate the solitude. Breathe, Daisy.

The solitude did not last long. Cheryl texted me. Then I texted Nadia. Then Bri texted me as well. And just like that, I remembered that I am NOT alone. People do need me, just like I need them. What a wonderful reminder.

Monumental:

  • I slept/napped.
  • I ate very well.
  • I exercised.
  • I skipped therapy.
  • I helped my friends.

Deep breath. I like where this is going. You’ll be home soon, Bruiser Boy.

Still going.

I had to go back and read my last entry to remind myself of where I was on my journey.

I was exhausted. Depleted. Demoralized. Defeated. Afraid. Angry. Desperate. Overwhelmed.

Yet determined.

At no point has giving up on myself been an option. I am doing absolutely everything I can to feel better. I’ve continued my therapy sessions, I diligently complete the tasks in my workbooks, I take my medications without fail, I reach out to my army as soon as I sense negative thoughts (and with them negative feelings) coming on. Sleep has become a priority, and there has been MUCH improvement thanks to the benzodiazepine I have on hand now, and my less wacky work schedule.

I am giving this everything I’ve got.

And it’s actually working.

I have now gone two weeks without crying, and I have been sleeping at home (for a while, I was staying at my Grandma’s) alone (I’ve also had friends and cousins stay with me at my place).

I have more energy, I am laughing again, I am feeling more like myself again.

During our last session, my therapist told me that she is starting to see my true personality shine through, and that she can tell that I have a great sense of humor and that I love to laugh. Ugh – it’s flooring when strangers notice these things about me! Yes! Laughter is so important to me, I love making others laugh, and I love being around those who make me laugh! What wonderful medicine… welcome back!

One of the people I laugh – and sometimes simply giggle – with is my coworker (now friend) Cheryl. I don’t typically see much of her at work, and when that is the case, we tend to call each other or hang out at the end of the week just to catch up. Last weekend, we went to see her brother-in-law, a local musician, play a benefit show at a brewery on the outskirts of the DFW area. Yesterday afternoon, we were on the phone with each other for over an hour! On both occasions, we laughed and laughed and laughed. We commiserate over work, because we can’t help ourselves, and over all the shit that life continues to throw at us (I won’t reveal her details, but personally, I was the victim of identity theft last week… Joy!). And then we just laugh about it. I was seriously on the verge of tears yesterday! A different kind of tears. 🙂

I already love that lady.

There have been other little things that have been bright points on my journey recently. The hospital radiologist meeting my brother and saying to my brother, “You have an awesome sister,” or something along those lines. The emergency doctors both thanking me for my hard work all throughout the week. Having been able to help my friend Julie with tasks that were insurmountable for her to do on her own (more about that in a later post). Staying at my Grandma’s this weekend not because I needed to, but because she needed me to (my aunt and cousins who usually stay with her were out of town).

It all felt good.

Unfortunately, because life is life, there was also darkness last week. No, not the stupid identity theft (although if that had happened just a couple weeks ago, I may have fallen apart!), but other news. Another mass shooting at a school and a member of our social vegan group being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

There is a common suggestion in the books I have been turning to as I navigate through this bout of mental illness. I have come to expect it, entire chapters or activities dedicated to it. Turn to religion and spirituality, they all say.

Well, I’m atheist. Religion is not my thing. I sometimes wish that I could believe in a god. That would totally make things easier. I get it, I get why people believe.

But it’s not me.

I then saw a post on Pinterest (addicted, by the way) stating that Buddhism is not a religion, but a practice. Hmmmm – this is something I may actually be able to get into. Many pins and two books downloaded onto my Kindle later, I am giving it a go. It may be another piece of the puzzle towards getting better.

I decided to start with one simple task: stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus on someone, send them your love.

My love is being sent to Florida and to a local cancer treatment center.

Peace and blessings, my friends. And love. Thank you for joining me and for your support.

-Daisy

Gratitude and goals.

I am so thankful I’m not going through this alone. In the last two weeks or so, I have opened up to an additional six people, all of whom have been incredibly supportive and caring.

At a previous session, my therapist told me that the fact that I have so many people willing to be there for me and help, talk, check in on me… It speaks volumes of the kind of person that I am. She said it reflects on me. The quality of my friends indicates that I myself am a wonderful person.

Last week, Jocelyn took me out on a hike. She packed small healthy snacks for me, knowing that I had not been eating well. Monday night, she showed up at my job with a bouquet of daisies and even more healthy snacks.

Lindsey and Jacob have been texting to check on me and offer words of encouragement.

Tonight, Sarah will be joining me at my next therapy session. Cristina will be flying in to Dallas and staying at my place with me for the night.

Mom, though? She has been my rock. Driving me everywhere, making sure I eat (albeit not very much – I’m trying), comforting me when I cry, listening to me, staying with me, cleaning my apartment, watching my dog for me. She’s amazing.

Everyone is amazing.

I know that some people with mental illness close themselves off from others, they don’t want anyone to know, they’re ashamed, or they don’t want to bring others down. I have been open, I have known from the very beginning, when the darkness first started creeping in, that there was no way in hell I’d be able to get through this on my own. And while I do feel guilty for constantly having to reach out, everyone assures me that they are glad they can be there for me.

Thank you all.

My goal is to continue to think of all I have to be grateful for. Other goals include:

  • Eating. It has become such a daunting task. I’ve lost ten pounds (that I didn’t really need to lose) in the last two months. Yesterday, I decided to wear something other than scrubs or sweatpants, to maybe boost my spirit. I was in awe when I looked at myself in the mirror. My clothes are probably three sizes too big for me now. I looked like I’m wasting away. I feel the lack of energy as well.
  • Sleeping. I can’t sleep because I’m stressed and I’m stressed because I can’t sleep. It’s an awful cycle that is leaving me exhausted. I live in fear that my lack of rest will start to affect my performance at work, especially now that I’m in a leadership role. I went to my physician early this week to ask for sleep aid. She instead prescribed an antidepressant in order to treat the root of the problem. Unfortunately, it can take weeks to kick in. In the meantime, I have a weighted blanket, eye mask, ear plugs, and a relaxation routine (taught to me by my therapist) that I rely on, although they haven’t been much help yet.
  • Controlling my thoughts. There is so much negativity and fear that I need to let go of. It’s only drowning me more. I’m trying to remind myself that this is only a season, that we are (as of today!) halfway through the winter, and spring will arrive again! I can’t bloom year round, and that’s okay. This winter was the harshest I have ever experienced, but my hope is that I will survive it and be better prepared for future years.
  • Being patient. I need to give myself time. I want to be better now, I really do. I want to go back to being my old self, I miss her. But I need to trust this journey. My meds will kick in at some point too, right?

Thank you all for reading. If you have any words for me, please share. I would appreciate them.

It’s a process.

Here’s an update on my journey.

I am still not sleeping well. I can sleep for two hours, wake up with my heart racing, stay awake for 1-2 hours because I cannot calm down (neither my body nor mind allow it), eventually fall asleep, only to wake up again after two hours and start the cycle all over again. Some nights, most nights, I only do this cycle twice. And so, I have only been averaging about four hours of sleep a night. It is exhausting. It is frustrating.

I cannot nap either. I tried to yesterday after work, then became so irritated that I couldn’t relax, and I started crying. I reached out to friends.

Really, the only place and time that I can sleep is when I am in a car, when someone is driving me somewhere. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the movement, maybe it’s because I know the people driving me (usually family) love me and will keep me safe, maybe it’s the feeling of getting away.

[sigh]

At my last session with my therapist, after I told her about my last trigger – cleaning out my vacuum cleaner only to discover that it was clogged with my deceased dog’s hair – she told me that although, yes, I do show many of the signs of depression, what I am dealing with is grief.

I have known that I am grieving. I guess I never realized that grief is the issue. My grief is causing these signs of depression. The depression isn’t causing the grief. I have to tackle the grief, address it and heal.

Somehow, that gives me more hope. For some reason, grief does not seem as big an enemy as depression. Grief seems more manageable. Grief is feeling.

I can do this.

Source energy, universe, all that is good, please help me through this. Help me heal. Help me release all the negative energy I store. Help me learn from my mistakes and become a more complete person, help me ascend. Help me find my higher self. Please.

Please.

Here I go.

This has come as a surprise to people who know me. It certainly caught me off guard, shocked me and shook me. I had never experienced it before, and so it frightened me even more so. I am not one to leave issues unaddressed, however. I love myself, and I love a lot of people who love me too.

I am battling depression and anxiety.

Me. Happy Daisy. The girl who is always so positive, the one who lifts others up, the light in the lives of her friends and family (seriously, they have called me that), the one who wants to save the world. The badass, the go-getter, the adventurer, the brain.

I’m depressed.

I have been since early December, although I didn’t call it that. Initially, I had an emotional breakdown. Then, I cried and felt sorry for myself. I reached out to anyone who would listen to me – my closest friends and my Mom. I bawled. This lasted for about a week. I quickly identified what had triggered me, and thought that just doing that was all I needed to get out of the funk, and I did… But then it crept back on me and hasn’t left since.

I reached out to Cee, who told me that she has been struggling with depression. What? Oh no. Why hadn’t she reached out to me? I’m so sorry I wasn’t there, I never asked. She told me that she was getting better, she was seeing a therapist. She started off seeing him twice weekly, but now she only sees him once a month, because she’s better. It took her a while to find one she was comfortable with, one that clicked, but it was the best decision she could have made.

And so, I decided to take that step as well. Everything felt overwhelming, I was anxious, I was afraid, I was grieving losses that had happened and already grieving those that have not, I stressed. I was not sleeping well (I’m still not) and started losing weight rapidly (I still have not been able to put it back on). Maybe a therapist could talk me into feeling more like myself again, teach me new coping mechanisms, give me advice… SOMETHING.

I researched therapists covered by my insurance and found one not far from my place. I was able to make an appointment for that same week! I had to fill out lengthy paperwork, including a 30 minute questionnaire, one that made me dig way back into my past. Wow. We are going to uncover some shit with this. Let’s do it.

I cried during my walk there for my first appointment, emotional over the fact that I needed this. I arrived early and cried in the waiting room, nervous that I wouldn’t know where to begin, feeling immense loneliness the longer I waited. There was nobody around. Just a sign that read, “Please make yourself comfortable. Your psychologist will come out to greet you.”

She eventually did. She gave me a warm smile. Somehow, I immediately felt safe.

I don’t know how I did it, but I explained it all, within 90 minutes. I just talked and talked and talked. And cried, of course. I think I went through five or six tissues. She took notes on the questionnaire I had filled out. She asked me about the answers I made on it. We were going to get to the bottom of things. Not instantly in that first session, but eventually. We would figure out a plan for me, a map towards making me better again, mechanisms that would work for me. We clicked!

Towards the end of our first session, she said those words to me: “You’re depressed.”

I cried even more. As sad and overwhelmed as I had felt in those weeks, I never thought of myself as depressed. I knew something was wrong, I knew I wasn’t myself, I knew I was hurting, I was stressed, but… Not depressed.

I was, though. I had all the classic signs.

“You’re depressed.”

Cry. Deep breath. Heart racing. Another deep breath.

I am depressed.

Wow.

I have gone through life never fully understanding depression, wanting those I loved who experienced it to get better, not always knowing what to say to them. Was I insensitive to them? Probably, yeah. Would people be insensitive towards me? They already had been. I’m in my thirties, I’ve been thriving, I’m optimistic, I’m ambitious. How could this be happening to me? Now? At this age? To me?!

It was happening, though.

At the end of my first session, my therapist told me to be as compassionate towards myself as I am towards others.

Oh. Oops. I saw it now. I spent so much time building others up, giving so much of myself to the people I love, that I neglected myself. Because on the surface, I was okay. Sure, I hurt every now and then. My heart was heavy at times, my self-esteem dropped at other times, but I coped and toughened up. Because others were going through so much worse. And I had to be strong for them.

All the while, I was sinking.

I wasn’t really coping. I was distracting myself. I didn’t address my feelings, my thoughts, my beliefs. I ignored them. And then? Then what happened?

Everything I kept within me, everything I failed to face and address, it boiled up inside me all at once and I exploded. It was bad. I won’t deny it. Very bad.

Unfortunately, the person who witnessed this explosion was… Just not the right person. His reaction could have pulled me up, it could have been a floating device that would encourage me to start swimming on my own again. Instead, it only pulled me deeper underwater. Much, much further than I’d ever been.

That was when my depression started.

I am still hurting. My mind is in turmoil. Some days, I feel confident that I am getting better. Other days, I sink. It’s a roller coaster.

My therapist and I are still trying to uncover things. We have learned that I am too hard on myself, I demand too much of myself. Why? Why am I like this?

[sigh]

We’re working on it.

I know I will get better. I need to trust the process, trust the journey. I am proud of myself for immediately seeking help, for recognizing that this was not okay for me, for not being afraid nor ashamed to open up.

I have definitely opened up. My goodness, my support system has been amazing! There with me every step of the way. Patient and compassionate towards me. I feel their love, I feel how much they care. Most importantly, I feel how much faith they have in me. They know I will get better, they tell me all the time. They tell me they are proud of me.

Mom, Dad, big brother, Cristina, Sarah, Nicole, and Cent. Thank you for being my lifeguards, my unofficial therapists between my sessions. I know I’m not better yet, I’m not in the clear yet, but I will get there, and it will be because of you as much as it is because of me. I could never repay you for all that you have done for me thus far and all I know you will continue to do. I love you all so much.

Thank you.

And thank YOU for reading this. I may share more of my journey. We shall see how I feel. I have another appointment with my therapist tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. Please send me positive thoughts. I don’t typically ask for them, but I need them now.

Take care.

-Daisy