Many of you know me, Miss Molly, as the ever-positive and always optimistic person who embodies joy, encouragement, and hope. That is, after all, why I started #MollysWords. But “Molly’s Words” actually started from sharing my own vulnerable experiences about my life. The real, the raw, the not so pretty trials many of us face, in hopes to let those suffering know that they are not alone and to share that there is always hope.
The very thought of putting the words onto paper (or in this case mass publication on the internet) frightens me. I hold back with fear at the idea of sharing something so personal, only a few people in my life understand or know about it. But the idea that my story may help someone battling the same battle makes it all worth it. So as I open up once again, I share with you something I’ve recently struggled with — depression. I am that girl who lost her smile.
If for a moment you’re thinking, “Surely not Molly, she’s always smiling and has it all together,” I’m here to share that I definitely do not have it all together. This is the very reason why I’m sharing this. Perhaps you’ve been through it before, maybe you struggle with it currently or know someone who does, or maybe you have no clue some of your friends battle with it. The thing with depression is that so many of us suffer in silence. If you suffer from depression, know you are not alone. More than 300 million adults worldwide suffer from it (source here) and to label it as sadness is a complete understatement.
It’s a daily battle.
I’m not speaking from articles I’ve read and I’m also not a licensed health professional, but here are just a few of the debilitating experiences a person with depression might go through. More so, here’s my story and what I’ve been through.
- I feel everything all at once and other times paralyzingly numb.
- I want to socialize, but the idea of being around people and faking a smile is draining.
- I want to be left alone, but I don’t want to feel lonely.
- I feel alone and like no one understands me.
- I’m forgetful even about things I always remember.
- I have to do everything I can just to make it out of bed in the morning.
- The joy that I thrive on disappears and the things that normally make me smile, don’t.
- I feel trapped inside my own head.
- I am constantly running my mind with ideas for business, but no motivation to pursue it.
- I feel guilt and shame for the way my brain thinks.
- I can’t concentrate or focus on one task.
- I cry for no reason at all.
- Making even the smallest decision like what to eat is incredibly overwhelming.
- I hate myself for the way it affects my friends and family.
- I worry it will never end.
- “I can’t do this anymore,” overtakes my thoughts.
I’ve always battled with anxiety, and although they often go together at times, that is a whole different subject within itself. But what I didn’t realize is that most of this started back in the fall when everything in my life changed. All at once, my job changed, and so did my income stability, where I lived, medications, relationships and overall health. I was a wreck and I’m still battling each day to overcome this anxiety. It’s a process and I remind myself daily to do my best and give myself grace. I remind myself that it’s OK to not be OK.
You see, depression is painstakingly real and not ever something you should suffer with. I’m lucky enough to be in the care of great healthcare professionals. I used to feel embarrassed or guilty about this, but it’s simply doing what needs to be done to take care of my health. Taking a blogging break recently was one of them. Mental health is equally as important and just because you suffer from anxiety or depression, it does not mean you are crazy. Accepting it as something that will pass (not fighting it) is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Don’t hide, like so many of us do and please don’t suffer in silence.
Do not hesitate for a moment to reach out to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell someone else you trust. Don’t let anyone devalue or underplay what you are feeling because it is serious and your health needs to be supported.
You are loved and cherished more than you could possibly imagine. Despite what the pain feels like, you will get through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel, so don’t give up. I’m with you, loving and supporting you every step of the way. This was the hardest post ever for me to write, but if I can do my part by sharing my story and helping even one person, I know it’s worth it. Remember, you are not alone.
How you can help a loved one:
I’m thankful to have had the support of wonderful people in my life who have helped carry me through as well. If you know someone who is suffering, here are some things you can do to help:
- Remind them of their value to this world.
- Offer support and listen to their feelings without judgment.
- Tell them, “This too shall pass.”
- Help them break down their routines into simple tasks they can get through.
- Stay in contact with them — (remember, they can feel very isolated at times).
- Encourage them with words to bring a glimmer of hope.
- Tell them it’s OK to feel everything they’re feeling.
- Help them find someone to talk to, who’s either been through it or is licensed to know how to deal with it.
Finally, I leave you with a song that has helped carry me through my darkest of days — You’re Gonna Be OK. It’s so true — you are!
I’m always here for you,
P.S. A very dear friend of mine wrote “Read This If You are Considering Suicide” and it may be exactly what you need to hear if you too suffer from these thoughts.
*Please call the Suicide Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or 911 if this is an emergency. Or reach out to trained crisis counselors on the Crisis Text Line by texting 741-741.
Photo credit: Jenna Lynn Photography