Sandy’s Place – South African Lifestyle Blog
Mental health,  Wellness

My journey with depression

Forget about likability. If you start out thinking about being likable, you’re not going to tell your story honestly- Chimamande Ngozi Adichie

This by far is the hardest post I have had to write, one of the reasons is that I am letting you in and fully in. I do not enjoy being vulnerable but I believe that there is one person who is going to read this post and it will be the confirmation that they have been looking for that they are not alone.

Allow me to be more honest and admit that I really wanted to call this my journey with anxiety, but I have committed myself to honest writing, creating a space for womyn to live in their truth and starting the hard conversations. Anxiety feels less heavy then depression less of a life sentence, less like I am a failure. Yep you read that right control freak me wants to take responsibility for an entire depression, which is caused by a chemical imbalance. This dark, exhausting constant friend of mine has come in many forms throughout my life.

So let me talk about the latest breakdown that I had and how it led to the beginning of my journey to healing. Last year I wasn’t feeling well, it wasn’t a feeling that I could really explain, not that I am doing a better job now. I would have moments that I felt like I was in a dream like state or was drunk or was just generally losing touch with reality. So I would spend more time indoors and away from people. The moment where it all became too much was after a weekend with my family which was an awesome time and I thought whatever was happening was gone and perhaps was caused by not enough sleep. I remember on the drive home with my nephew we were joking around and ten minutes later I wanted to take off my seatbelt and jump out of the car, in fact I wanted to scream stop the car and then I wanted to run out to where? I do not know. Instead I sat quietly even tried to sleep anything to get these unwelcomed thoughts out of my head.

The next day I went to work and I remember feeling like I hadn’t slept at all in fact getting ready for work felt like I was in a dreamlike state. I tried waking myself but nothing helped eventually I got to work and 10 minutes in I sat in front of my computer and I decided that either I go St Marks, or go for exorcism but something had to be done and right now I just couldn’t bare it anymore. I sat there crying not knowing what to do. Say I left and went to St Marks what would I say is wrong with me? That I feel a disassociation from reality. Say I go for an exorcism where would I go to? Where do I begin?

So I googled my symptoms (self-diagnosis can be dangerous but it worked for me that day). I saw what I was experiencing it was a symptom of anxiety. Immediately I phoned my friends and got a number of a therapist they trusted and I booked a session.

My sessions with my therapist were so helpful he made me realize that we are all but a spec and we are made of nerves and neurons. That sometimes we need medication to help us and that there is no shame in mental health. He told me what I heard from other previous therapists (he was lucky number 4) that I suffered from clinical depression but this time I was ready to hear it and accept it. I decided not to medicate however I do not judge those of us who choose to medicate whatever brings you healing you owe no one an explanation. From the first session he made me promise to be kinder to myself and to journal and I have kept that promise till this day.

In this 3 part series I will talk more in depth about anxiety and the destructive things that people more especially our loved ones say about our depression. If you too have a personal story please share it with me, I believe we can be able to help others.

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