I wanted to take another moment and thank everyone who has been supporting me ever since I opened up about my depression on Sparkpeople; I really don't know where I'd be without you guys. (I also promise that I will reply to all of your encouraging comments tomorrow.)
One thing I grasped about my blog yesterday is that it seemed so, well, depressing... and in all reality, it was. But after blowing off steam, I really had the opportunity to rethink the direction I was going with depression itself.
So I did something crazy.
I opened up.
I know I've openly talked about my depression on Sparkpeople, but it feels much different telling those who have personally known me for years. I started last night with my next door neighbor. There were many days where he'd be in his yard and I would be passing through, yet I wouldn't say a word to him. In my eyes, I was depressed and wanted nothing more than to avoid him. But in his eyes, I despised him for some reason he couldn't identify. The decision to tell him not only cleared the air and created a stronger connection as neighbors, but it also made me feel a wide range of contradictory feelings: courageous and strong, frightened and unconcealed, yet hopeful and accepted. I felt like I no longer had to hide as if I kept some deep secret in the back of my bedroom closet.
There’s been a tattoo idea I’ve had in my head for weeks, but I never considered actually getting it due to the fact that others might see it one day. A semicolon is used when an author could have ended a sentence, but chose not to. It started a trend and is often used to represent support for those who have a mental illness. I’ve seen some tattoos with only a semicolon, but I’ve also seen many with semicolons embedded into words, such as “L;ve”, “Cont;nue”, or “Warrior”.
After rereading my blog entry named “A Fight that Will Always Return”, I thought of the perfect word for me…
I posted my idea on Facebook with these words:
“There are very few people out there who know how hard of a time I've had with severe depression during these past 10 years of my life. In fact, most of you probably never even knew I was having trouble living... that is how skilled I had become trying to hide my problems. Just because I put on a good act doesn't mean that my depression was any less severe. And now, more than ever, I realize that depression will be a fight that will always come back for more.
I know that semicolon tattoos are becoming extremely overdone in the eyes of others, but I think one such as this one would be perfect for me. Perhaps I'll put it on my ankle, but I almost consider putting it on one of the many scars on my legs to remind me to keep fighting.”
I’ve received an incredible amount of support since, and even my best friend is wanting to get a semi colon tattoo her own depression that she, herself, kept “in a closet.”
Yes, depression is extremely difficult and hindering to anyone dealing with it. But if you are reading this, then it means you are still here. Depression may always come back for more, but it won’t win without a F;ght!