#BellLetsTalk Day

From as far back as I can remember, I can always recall feeling… well, not “right” for lack of a better term. Not sick. Not depressed. Not hurt. Just… something was missing. I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know how or who to talk to about it & I just assumed that this was a normal part of growing up. I always told myself that when I was older, it would go away. When I was in highschool, things would be better. When I went to college I would be fine. When I graduated and started working I would be normal. Yeah… so much for that plan.

I never felt like I fit in. Not with my friends, and even my own family at some times. It was never a matter of being popular. I never cared if someone had something I didn’t. Money was never a concern to me. It had nothing to do with physical material things that we all sometimes envy of others. I was uncomfortable being me. I wanted to be you. It didn’t matter to me if you were rich, poor, black, white, perfect, odd. It wasn’t me & that’s who I was trying so desperately to get away from. Myself.

Slowly… and I mean painfully slow, this feeling developed into something far more disturbing. I was sad. I was angry. I was scared. And I constantly felt alone… the scariest part was not knowing why. There was no logical reason. I had everything: Loving parents. Friends. School. A job. Clothing. … etc etc etc. Yet these feelings continued to grow and I didn’t know how to stop it. And I was scared to breathe a word of it to anyone.

Food repulsed me. During my lowest times I didn’t want to eat. I stopped seeing my friends. I made excuses to avoid the outside world. To avoid life. Because at this point I didn’t feel like I was living. And to make matters worse I didn’t want to live. I wanted to sleep and every time I woke up I was disappointed that I had. I had suicidal thoughts. My mind played games on me trying to convince me to do it and then guilt tripping me into stopping.

I knew something was wrong. Was I insane? I thought I was. So I went to Google & looked up every symptom I could possibly think of that I was experiencing and all of it led to one word: Depression.

So this was Depression. I finally had a label which alieviated the feelings of insanity but I was still too scared to talk about it. To who? My parents? The people who have given me everything? Why should I be depressed? Would they understand? Would anybody?

8 years later, after being forcibly dragged to the doctors by mother & then telling said doctor off, I finally feel ok. I have bad days here and there. But I can manage them. I’m no longer scared to talk about this. To voice my experience with a terrifying and debilitating illness which would have probably taken my life if something wasn’t done.

It’s serious. It’s scary. And I KNOW there are more of you out there.
You know me as apswlife. As a friend. As a daughter. As a friend. As a girlfriend. As a PSW.
But you’ll also know me as having Depression. It’s not something that just disappears. It’s a part of me. It’s made me stronger. It’s enabled me to help & relate to others going through the same thing.

Today is #BellLetsTalk Day and for every tweet & text with that hashtag, Bell will donate 5 cents toward Mental Health initiatives in Canada. This is my story. I’m not afraid any more & I don’t care if this makes you uncomfortable.

This is what ending the stigma is all about.

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