We share so much of our lives on social media. We share our photos, our adventures, our thoughts. We debate politics, we try to inform people of things that we are passionate about, and sometimes we may even share our deepest inner thoughts. Sometimes. Scrolling through Facebook is like standing outside of someone's house and looking in the window - you are just seeing the activity of someone's life. You don't really know what's going on in there at ALL. Almost every week I wake up and find out that someone has ended their life. Friends and family are usually shocked. We search through social media, we re-play moments in our head, we wonder if we made them feel loved. But the real question is, did we make them feel alone? By sharing only parts of our lives (the parts we want people to see,) are we causing an even greater loneliness in this world? I have actually had someone tell me that my Facebook was too sad. This was a couple years ago and at a point in my life when I was consumed by Depression. The sadness that they saw was only a glimpse into my world and it was not my intention to make others sad. It was my intention to just be ME and to be honest - my world was falling apart.
I am sharing this with a hope that someone out there will realize that they aren't alone. I did not have an easy childhood. I was lucky to have my Grandparents, who fought for me to have a better life, with THEM. I have struggled with Chronic Depression since I was a child. If you haven't experienced Depression.. Allow me to give you an idea of it. Imagine your happiest day of the year but it doesn't feel that happy. Maybe it's a vacation or a big event and you may have looked forward to it but when the day arrives, so does Depression. It brings with it a loss of confidence, a loss of hope and a loss of joy. It brings with it anxiety and a voice that says, "Just stay in bed. You don't deserve to get up. You won't get anything done and you won't even enjoy it!" I'm a funny person and I LOVE to laugh but Depression stops the laughter. It likes the sound of its own silence, the negative thoughts and the tears.
In 2012, my world started falling in on me. I lost my Dad in July, Sam (my ex-boyfriend that I was with for 9 years) passed away in December and his Grandma (whom we lived with) died in April. To say that this gave fuel to my Depression would be an understatement. Between my Grandma and my best friend Christina, they dragged me out of bed. When I wanted to give up, they forced me to keep going until I wanted to live for myself. In April of 2014, my Aunt, Grandma and I met with Palliative Care. They told us that Grandma had less than 6 months to live. They had told her this before.. 27 years ago. This time, we knew it wasn't something she could fight. I kept telling her I would be okay but that's what you say to someone who is dying and is only worried about everyone else. Two months later, my world shattered completely when my Grandma took her last breath on this Earth. It has been over a year and it isn't much easier now.
I'm not sharing this story for any reason except to let others know that they aren't alone. When you scroll through my Timeline.. I hope that you know that what you are seeing is ME! My life isn't perfect. I have a great job, I have my own AMAZING business, I have an absolutely incredible boyfriend who cares about my happiness more than anything, I have friends who will be friends forever because they stuck by my side when I was at my lowest point and I have a family that is small but beyond loving and understanding. My heart is full of love! But also know that I'm a real person. I struggle with Chronic-Depression, Anxiety and Complicated-Grief. I have been at rock bottom. I have almost given up. I have lived through emotional pain that I thought would physically kill me... But it didn't. We are resilient. We can survive the unthinkable, but we can't do it alone. So please know that you aren't alone.
It breaks my heart to know that the people who have chosen to end their lives lately felt ALONE. They felt like nobody would understand or that they had no one to turn to. I just want that to change. Let's drop the mental health stigma and let's be real. This is my space to be real.
"The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved." — Mother Teresa