Guest Contributor: Brandi Howe
As I sat in my therapists office and told her what was weighing on my mind, she looked at me and said "that's depression talking, you have depression and that's the depression talking". My eyes instantly welled up and I started crying. I've always struggled with anxiety but hearing I now was struggling with anxiety and depression felt like a bottomless pit of despair. We made plans for me to get on a couple different medications and see if that helped and we would meet back and see how I was feeling. On my drive home I felt so ashamed. I didn't think I was even going to tell my husband but ultimately knew I needed his support. After telling him and seeing him completely support me and help me get the help I needed I started to open up to more people. It's a very vulnerable feeling having to tell those you love you're struggling mentally. What if they think you're just being dramatic? What if they don't think you deserve to struggle? After all, I have everything I've ever wanted! We just bought our first house, we have a beautiful daughter and the sweetest rainbow baby boy! My trials are in the past! Why am I still struggling? Guess what, depression/anxiety doesn't care if you have a good life. I wish I knew why some people struggle more mentally than others but I don't. I guess I just have to realize we all have different trials and struggles in life and through those hard times we learn, we grow, and we can empathize with others who experience similar trials. Now that I'm on medication I can cope so much better than I could before but I still have hard days. I still have days I don't know how I'm going to continue fighting but I do, and I always will because I have people who love me fighting with me. I have people I love who are worth fighting for! Thankfully those hard days are fewer and further between. I truly am grateful for those in my life who encouraged me to go to therapy, to get on and stay on medication and to be open about my struggles. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I encourage anyone struggling (and honestly even those who don't struggle with mental health) to go to therapy. Sometimes it takes a few therapists to find one you really can open up to but it's so worth it! To anyone struggling, you are not alone. There is help. Please seek it. This life was meant to be enjoyed and sometimes we just need a little help to fully enjoy it and that's OK!