This is a weekly staple affording our readers the opportunity to share their personal testimony regarding abuse, violence, disease, family, happiness, faith, jail time, obesity, and/or mistakes made in their youth, just to name a few. Let your testimony be a blessing to someone else attempting to overcome a particular avenue in life.
“I guess it’s always best to start at the beginning. So here it goes ..
I’ve been with my current boyfriend for 4 years now, and although this seems like a long time, it hasn’t been consistent.
It all started at the beginning of 2015. My boyfriend and I got into a huge argument, leading to him breaking things off with me and being with another woman. I had imaginable hopes of us working things out. Therefore, while we decided to work on our imperfections, there was still a secret in the midst of a storm in its cumulus stage. A few short months later, the secret was revealed thereby pushing my storm from a cumulus to mature stage where it stayed for a full year. I struggled with grief, despair and acceptance of who I was and who I was meant to be. I felt like my entire world was crushed due to the news I had received.
My days were spent in repetition of the day before. I got up, went to work all while masking my grief with smiles and jokes, I came home to a house filled with memories (good/bad) and someone I no longer wanted to associate myself with. Although, I did things every day, my feelings on the inside did not match my outside. I lashed out on social media and for times that I said nothing, it was definitely noticed in my actions. I was in a chair stagnant facing a window of endless possibilities but couldn’t find a way out.
I began to realize if I kept going down the path I was headed, I would never see all the wondrous things that I had planned for myself come to fruition. I had to snap out of it fast, but I never dealt with these emotions or feelings before and didn’t know how. I dealt with … wait, what was I even dealing with? I had to first figure out what I was dealing with. I had no idea that I was dealing with emotions associated with depression.
Depression (n) – feelings of severe despondency (a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage) and dejection.
Once I was able to understand the definition of depression, I started to ponder ways that would help me bring back the hope and courage I was once had with my life. It wasn’t easy but the main thing is I took everything one step and one day at a time. For some it’s easier said than done but my case was the complete opposite, once I figured out my purpose in this world.
My life has definitely not been all silver and gold. It has been filled with so many trials, setbacks and tribulations that in 2015, I decided that it was time for me to go. By the grace of God and the timing of my boyfriend, I am still here today. After that night of darkness, guess what I did the next day? I got up, showered, put on my clothes, and got on the train headed to work. That evening, I sat down with my computer and Googled “free therapy”. I found outlets that allow you to talk to people for free. Now, reading this, you may think, “well I can just talk to my friend, pastor, parent, etc.” Trust me, I’ve tried a few of these outlets and found the advice they had to offer did not suffice to what I needed to hear. I needed to hear someone with an unbiased viewpoint, someone who didn’t know me and only knew my situation from face value.
Depression is all too real for the people going through it, but not as real for those surrounding us. For me, it was hard to talk to anyone about what I going through. Mainly because it was easier for someone to tell me what they thought I should do, as opposed to just encouraging me to seek help.
On a side note, 63% of African Americans have said that they believe depression is a personal weakness and 56% believe that depression is a “normal” part of aging. What happens when that “normal part of aging” leads to someone ultimately wanting to take their life? When does the normality of depression become abnormal and we start to question, “why are so many of us losing hope and courage?”
I made it through 2015 by climbing out of my stagnant chair. I decided to take on projects that got me out of the house more. I talked to my online therapist regularly about confronting not only the person that I was dealing with, but the emotions and feelings I had been dealt. I started to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. That drove me to put my negative energy into something that I loved to do. I picked different projects and although some of those projects didn’t it to 2016, I tried my hand at a few things that were different from my normal. I realized the only person who could give me my hope and courage back was me. In that I found love within myself and I absolutely love the feeling.
My storm has made it to its decaying stage, and I’m so glad that I made it. For those going through a storm right now, know that you are not alone and your storm is almost over.”