Because I’ve Been There

When I was first diagnosed with depression, I had no idea what was happening. I knew I felt sad a lot, and that it affected every single part of my life.  I was probably a senior in High School at that time.

Years later, I was mom of 2 girls then, I was working in a portrait studio. It was my job to welcome the guests, take their portraits and walk them through the sales process. We were backed up with customers waiting to be served.  Now, I had been in this business for 5 years and was comfortable with my job, yet I am not completely clear as to all of what happened next. The computerized register that I was currently using, just froze. No buffering circle, no warning box, it simply refused to work. My manager was behind me and I turned and called her name for assistance. Next thing I knew I was in the back room on the floor being given oxygen. The ambulance had arrived and the attendants were quick to work.

Hospital said I had experienced a panic attack.  I remember thinking that was a good explanation.

I have had and continue to have panic attacks.  To this day they can appear out of nowhere.

Now someone might ask, how does this happen to you if you are a child of God?  I do not completely understand it. There is no way to sugarcoat it or make myself sound more spiritual. God has helped me through many an episode, yet I still suffer from symptoms.  I trust Him, and believe that there is a greater plan.  

There is a stigma attached to people that get help from psychiatrists and others in the mental health field. Truth is we are there because these chronic symptoms forced us to seek help. The rest of the population more times than naught, should seek mental help, but are too busy poking fun at the rest of us to see their own issues.

Let me assure you today, you are not alone. I know the struggle of everyday life. I know the desperate cry from inside to hide away and be antisocial.   Yet please understand, hiding away and doing nothing is NOT the answer.

I am not a medical professional, yet as a person who fights daily with depression and anxiety, I offer my advice.   First see your doctor, and  establish a smart medication regimen.  Then abide by it,as my mother used to say, religiously. Take note of any new symptoms that come up and contact your provider with questions. Then make up your mind you will press forward. Find something to occupy your time that will bring you joy.   Like to bake? Then bake. Like to paint? Then paint.

Get involved in a church or volunteer at a local nursing home. Any place where you can surround yourself with other people.  Positive people.  Now, live your life.  Live it with all the gusto you can muster.  See a counselor, and the doctor, follow your med regimen and volunteer, start a hobby and read my blog. Yes, I had to add that!

There will be days when the darkness may overtake you, but get back up again after an episode and you start over again.  One more time be the person that you know you really are without this disorder.  Prepare yourself.  For you will meet someone that needs encouragement, and you, yes you, will be able to give it. Because you have been there.

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