I'm pretty active on social media: I post pictures, funny Jace quotes, and check most of my social media daily. But if you look at my posts from the last couple weeks, you're not even getting half of the story.
Last May I was diagnosed with depression. I've been struggling with it ever since. But we don't exist in a culture that discusses mental illness. Instead, we brush it aside, assume it isn't as bad as someone with a physical illness, and we don't invite the conversation.
So when I posted a cute picture from my birthday, would you ever have guessed that the same night I dreamed of death? That within the week I would have a suicide plan? That the only reason I could not and will not ever go through with it is because of my son. Because I cannot and will not leave him; I will not make him endure the pain of his mom leaving him.
I didn't understand depression when I was younger. I thought it was just being in a funk, being sad. You fixed it by going out with your friends, looking at the bright side, and changing whatever situation caused it.
I did not understand what it actually was until I began living it. I didn't understand that there's not a fixable "why." That I can wake up battling depression even though by all accounts nothing is "wrong." There are mornings that I feel like I've climbed a mountain just to get out of bed and dressed.
Help has been sought, I saw a therapist and have an appointment with a psychiatrist. I understand that this behavior is not normal and that these thoughts are not healthy. I accept that I am not at fault for having depression, but that I would be at fault if I did not seek help.
But this isn't the type of thing you post on Facebook. If you do you're just asking for attention and being self-pitying. A trademark symptom of depression is self-isolation, and our culture just encourages it. 18% of the population has an anxiety or depressive disorder. It's common, and it is hard to live. So I'm breaking my silence. I am struggling through depression, I am seeking help, and I am human who is tired of pretending that everything is just fine when it clearly is not.