what depression looks like

Depression is something I have always been deeply afraid of. It runs through my family history like whispers in the night. Whispers of sadness, whispers of darkness, whispers of suicide attempts, alcoholism, and experimental medical treatments. Whispers.

I was so fearful that it would catch up to me that I just kept running as fast as I could. I prayed extra hard, I worked diligently, I followed the rules, I did everything right. And, I ignored those whispers.

When everything came crashing down with Matilda, I stood tall, so proud of myself for having faith, for rising above all the sadness and choosing love above everything else. I felt invincible. Matilda had taught me that anything is possible and for such a long time my emotions were heightened. I loved harder than I ever had. I enjoyed life with a new enthusiasm, and I cried often. For the first time in a long time, I felt all the feelings, pure and true and beautiful.

Then one day, it stopped. And I began to fade into the gray.

Winter was hard and disappointments followed letdowns one right after the other and I ran out of steam. I stopped running away from it and I started listening to those whispers. Maybe I let my guard down after I turned 30, thinking that I made it through hormonal pregnancy changes, through the postpartum periods, and though my twenties when most are diagnosed.

Or, maybe it was just time to be honest with myself, to face reality, and to get help. After all, we all have cloudy days, it's what you do with those cloudy days that defines who you are. I want to laugh often, I want to feel motivated, I want to dance with my kids, and I want to pull out of this gray.

I want my life back and I am willing to fight.

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