The first step
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I've done a few 'scary' things in my life including:
-talking at a few funerals
-singing at my grandma's funeral-a song I composed
-singing songs I composed in front of a large group
-exploring caves, and only getting stuck occasionally
-trying new food-including chocolate covered crickets, alligator, escargot, ect.
-traveling in a run down/dangerous neighborhood in foreign country without any clue how to speak the language
-interviewing government officials
WHy am I listing these things? To show how brave I am? No, these things aren't beyond what most people do, and there are many much scarier things which people have had to face. i just wanted to list a few things I chose to do, instead of things that happened to me to give some perspective.
Two weeks ago I went to the doctor. It was the hardest and scariest thing that I've done in several years. I told my doctor that I was suffering from severe depression.
Logically it shouldn't have been scary. I was telling my doctor about an illness which I had and needed help with. However, there's this stigma with mental illness which makes it seem like it's a character flaw. I kept thinking that if I just ate better, got a better perspective, took on less, ext. I could smile my way out of it.
I've tried to have this conversation numerous times and kept on chickening out by canceling an appointment or not bringing it up at a visit. Why am I sharing this? To say oh look what I'm dealing with/working on? Not really. Everyone has trials they are dealing with, and most of them are far more encompassing or challenging then mine. I have an extremely blessed life and support system. Even still, it took an enormous amount of effort to take that first step.
I'm not out of the woods yet, but that first step has given me significant relief and hope.
If you're struggling with mental illness of any kind, I just want to share my love and sympathies. My mantra with making healthier choices for food applies here too:
"You're not behind, you're just getting started"