Depression. What it really looks like.

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on August 28 2015

Depression. It's my reality. I live it every day. I fight it constantly. But I will never be defined by it.

Before you read on. I want you to know this is an honest look into the contents of my head in the moment of struggle. In the midst of "battle". But I'm fine. Today. I have the tools. I know how to work through this monumental pile of mud and mire and sludge that sometimes that seeps through my brain. I take my medication. I'm fine. (mom, i'm fine.)

the ugly reality of depression

Unless you struggle with depression you don't get it. I understand. How can you possibly comprehend a brain that takes over and moves you into thoughts and places completely out of your control. You can't. It's ok. What is NOT ok? Not having compassion, or telling someone to "snap out of it". That doesn't work. It will never work. Depression is real. It's horrible and paralyzing and very real. You know me. At least you know me from my writing. From my Facebook posts. From my Instagram. I am an almost always happy joyful person full of love and kindness and joy. But when the darkness rises. When the demons icy finger tips reach into my very core. I change. It's not a Jekyll and Hyde. I know what's happening. Yet....I can't escape it. I need to use my tools. Pray. Reach out for help. Ground myself. And the fact that medication is always in my system helps. What I want you to see is me in the murkiness...in the depths of THAT moment.

I typically don't write when I'm struggling like this anymore. I did. Long ago. It scared me. It scared those who read what I wrote. So I avoid it. But this time. I allowed myself to say what I was feeling so you could see it. Feel it. This is depression.

Again, I'm fine. Really. I know how to work through this. And I know how to get help. So I don't want you to worry. Trust me. But please, I'm asking you to walk into the darkness with me....

____________________________

It's 3pm on a Tuesday. I've cried 3 times. I rarely cry. I've screamed in my head many more than that - so loud, my headaches. And I've thought about suicide. About disappearing. Too many times to count.

I struggled with writing this down. With being THIS honest. For several reasons. One. It shows just how "crazy" I am. Two. It could land me in some psych unit. Three. It's embarrassing and humiliating and the absolute worst feeling in the world.

But. When I committed to writing this journey years ago I saw how many others it helped. I saw people become brave. I saw people get help. Mothers reach out for their kids. Wives for husbands. And I can't stop now.

In my mental fog that has come over me today. I had a moment of clarity. A moment to stop and write.

It doesn't stop the darkness. I wish it did. I don't know why it's so strong today. The cloud is so thick I can feel it's weight on my skin. It's cold and damp with a tinge of evil. I don't know what sin I committed - what evil spirit I provoked - what anger is seeking me out. And even those words. I want to edit them out. But I won't. I know all of it is untrue...but when I'm here...virtually swallowed under this blanket of darkness...this thick sludge filling my brain. I don't think clearly. That's depression.

My head. Playing tricks on me. Making me feel worthless. Telling me I don't matter. The voices. I hear them. Am I crazy? I feel like it.

I know all the right answers. I. Know. Them. But look at me. See what this looks like in the midst of my fight. Scattered thoughts. Unrealistic. Dark. Evil.

What REALLY prompted it? I mean I take the damn meds every single day. This shouldn't happen. Yet it does. It warns me it's coming. I feel it. I know. Cold icy fingertips. Gaining strength. Gaining a grasp. Tightening their hold.

This has been the most horrible year. Rejection. Pain. And sometimes when you try to bear the weight for others. When you try to be so freakin strong. When you try to continue to maintain a business that's too big for one human to manage. When you try to move your family. When you worry about money all the time. When you try try try....eventually you end up. Empty. Depleted. Done. It's almost as if I created the perfect storm and invited this in. So, therefore...it's my fault. Yet...I know it's not. Confusion.

I'm tired and angry and quite frankly overwhelmed. My life is not perfect. Contrary to what it may "look" like. I am NOT living the Pinterest dream. And I desperately hope you never think that of me.

The thoughts in my head are dark and evil and horrifying and mostly...wrong. I know that. But when I'm here...in this place...it's hard to see that. Process that. It's as if I KNOW things, but I can't quite grasp them. Hold on to them. It's like living in a nightmare in real time. The kind when you fall and fall and fall but never quite hit the bottom. I feel like I'm out of my body but reaching for what I know is real and true. Something to pull me back into reality. I know reality. It's right there. I just can't get there.

I'll be ok. I have the tools. I know what to do. I know how to fight and battle...but...but if you struggle like this. If you have ever felt like this. You are not alone. I promise you that. I'll walk with you. Find help. Please. I'm begging you.

But today. Today I need you to walk with me. Hold my hand. Reassure me these voices are not real. Reassure me that I'm not evil. Reassure me that "disappearing" is NOT an option. Ever. Please.

____________________________

So this IS me. WAS me. Days ago. Bare. Naked. Stripped clean of solid thoughts. Desperate. Battling.

And this my friends? THIS is a minor battle. A scuffle. A tumble. I know for you how dark it can be. I know how loud those voices of depression are. I know they seek to destroy you. They can't. They cannot define you. It is not your fault. Ever.

Find help. Get the tools for battle. Do not allow yourself to be alone in those moments. I'm here for you.

You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are unique. You have a purpose. You never have to be alone.

I had the Hebrew words "child of God" tattooed on my wrist. For me. I needed the constant visual reminder that I belong to someone. Someone that created me. Someone that loves me unconditionally. Someone that loves me. In these moments of confusion, I will stare at those words. Focus. Ground myself. It's everything to me.

Never doubt the absolute exquisiteness of your existence. Not for a moment. I don't.

There you have it....

I love you. That is all.

xo, lisa

These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head - Annie Lennox

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