I have to tell you. The last week was a rough one. First, Kate Spade committed suicide, And then Anthony Bourdain. People who seemly have had all the success in the world. Don't have to worry about money. But it shows, even people with fame don't "have it all".
Then I woke up this morning to learn that a good friend from my past--someone I've been lucky enough to keep tabs on through social media--lost her wife on Saturday. And the way I saw the news posted was poignant.
"She lost her battle with Depression."
This is one of the few times I've seen committing suicide referred to as "losing their battle", like cancer, or another health issue. And it's so true. So very many people struggle everyday with imbalances they simply cannot control on their own. They have a biological imbalance. And it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Several years ago, I was dealing with my kids being diagnosed with Dyslexia and my youngest possibly being on the Autism spectrum. I felt I had to learn and do everything possible for these kids to let them know they are amazing no matter how their brains are wired. We talked about how everyone's brains are built differently and everyone has things they have to work through. This was just their 'thing' to work through.
Turns out my three year old son 'simply' had severe anxiety and was not in fact on the spectrum. I'm the type of person that I delve right in and research the crap out of everything because a) I'm a lifelong learner and b) knowledge is power. I learned all about how my son was most likely living in a constant state of fight or flight and the things we were trying to teach him (like talking) were not getting absorbed because he was living in "survival mode".
Around the same time, I was stressed more than I've ever felt before. I was trying to be the perfect mom, a good wife, the perfect parent volunteer, manage the house and everything else. I felt overwhelmed, not sure what to focus on, couldn't sleep, grinding my teeth together to work through my stress and ending up with jaw pain. I would have shortness of breath and my chest would get tight. My body was completely out of whack. I just didn't know what was going on, but I just didn't feel 'right'. I went to my doctor and described everything I was feeling physically and she looked at me and said, 'I think you have some major anxiety going on.'
WHAT?! No, me?? Wellllllll, hmmm....now that you say that....
I've been on medication for four years now and have had one dosage increase in that time. And I've been with "a silly little soap and lotion company" for three years that honestly changed how I look at life. You know why I chose to become involved with Posh?? Because it was the first time in a very long time that someone was telling me that it was ok to take care of myself. It was ok to take a few minutes to not be a mom and wife. While I LOVED the products first, I fell in love with the message and felt the need to spread that message. And I don't think I would have come to this conclusion all on my own. I needed someone to say it to me. And it saddens me when I see people running through life and not taking time to check in. Not reaching out when they need to reach out. Not practicing self-care.
I feel like at the very least, I can remind people no matter what. To everyone out there, You ARE loved by many. You ARE worthy. You DO deserve to take care of yourself, whether that's simply stopping to take a super deep breath, disappearing into a great book, listening to some awesome music. Find that 'thing' that calms your wild mind. And if you feel like you are just not "feeling right" whether it's emotionally or physically, go see your doctor. Talk to a friend or spouse or family member and tell them them you are hurting and not sure what to do. You don't have to have an answer. Just seek help when you don't know what to do. I feel so heartbroken for my childhood friend and her daughter who will now have to endure life without their loved one.
If you feel like you just can't go on, and you can't find someone near you to reach out to. If you are feeling lost, at the end without hope, please remember someone is always listening.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK  Please, call the Suicide Hotline.