There are days when I look in the mirror & don’t like the woman I see. There are some days when I don’t even recognize myself.
Two days before my 35th birthday, I had an emotional crisis that was serious enough, for the first time in my life, to make an appointment with a doctor because I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. I remember calling my friend, Hope, into the bathroom stall at work and literally crying, hysterically, on her shoulder & I couldn’t even tell you why. I went home and in dramatic fashion, laid on the bathroom floor, weeping.
Depression is real.
I’ve had friends ask me, “But DeJa, why are you sad?” Depression is so much deeper than sadness. For me, it’s an unexplainable sense of hopelessness. “But DeJa, what triggers it?” I don’t know. But I do know depression is real.
I know what you’re probably thinking, I don’t “look” depressed. I’ve struggled to come to terms with this myself. After all, nobody wants to be depressed. “You know what, I’m just having a bad day,” I told myself. But how many days go by before it’s more than just a bad day? For the longest time, I refused to keep the appointment because I didn’t want the confirmation of knowing that something was wrong with me or the stigma that came along with it. But the alternative was to suffer in silence.
My personal journey has led me to the place where I am now, an advocate for raising awareness & destigmatizing this disease. I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree at UA Little Rock so I can educate communities on what mental illness looks like and the resources that are available.
If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, you can text 741741 a crisis worker will text you back immediately and will continue to text with you. Many people don’t like talking over the phone and would feel more comfortable texting.
This is a free service for anyone.
If you would like to join me in raising awareness for mental illness, please share this information.