A Word on Mental Health

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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. 

#youAREloved #youAREenough #youareNOTalone 💚✌🏼😘

If you would like to join me in raising awareness for mental illness, please share this information.

 

The Right Thing. The Write Thing.

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Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

I have no idea why but I’m feeling so anxious right now.

Like, I can’t get still. I can’t get my mind still. I’m physically uncomfortable sitting in this chair, trying to adjust my position, shifting my weight, changing the setting on this heater beside me. My focus is out of focus and the only thing that feels right is to write. Continue reading “The Right Thing. The Write Thing.”

Daily Affirmation

I’ve always believed in the power of words. I’m a writer, after all, it kinda goes with the gig. My life is filled with hand-written inspirations of yellow sticky notes in my home, in my car, in my office. In my purse.

For no apparent reason yesterday, everything was going well when suddenly, I felt uninspired and overwhelmed. I wallowed in it for a moment before quickly deciding to change my own mind.

I woke up this morning, unsettled. For whatever reason, he was on my mind. My thoughts almost held me hostage again until I said this aloud, “If it brings you happiness, then it brings me peace.” I like the idea that whatever is bringing joy into someone else’s life brings me a sense of peace, despite the fact that it may hurt or inconvenience me. I’m choosing to put my feelings aside for someone else’s happiness, creating a peace within that. To some people, that may sound extreme. It may seem like I’m choosing them over me. But I find profound strength is choosing to be at peace regardless of someone else’s choices even if it hurt.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

In Pursuit of Happiness

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Photo credit: De’Ja K. Johnson

For several weeks now, I’ve been on a self-proclaimed quest to find happiness. I initially thought that if I changed career paths, then that would make me happy- to be in the field of media, getting to do what I want to do, at least sometimes, while gaining experience & learning first hand media production. Then I figured that what I wanted was to make more money- and so I thought a new job could offer that. Alas, I concluded that I just really wanted to be alone- to take some time for myself, away from everyone, to focus completely on me. So I took a hiatus from friends, social media, even from writing and making videos on YouTube. Continue reading “In Pursuit of Happiness”