In light of the cause of Robin Williams’ tragic death and the irony of appearances being deceiving, I thought it was time to share my story. I always wanted to pursue performing and fitness for my love of it but also to one day hopefully have the influence publicly to help others going through similar issues. I thought it was the end of the world to tell anyone this story but my immediate family, close friends and boyfriends and now I am ready to share in my blog. I have faced clinical depression, anxiety and eating disorders and thankfully, have the chance to work everyday to not be ruled by them unlike those who have sadly, succumbed to those illnesses.
I used to feel so much shame for even mentioning it, thinking people would think I was weak, stupid or heaven forbid, crazy! No, I would never tell anyone except people close to me. I’ll deal with it alone I thought. And trust me, that did not work.
I will save details for maybe a future book (haha) but I will reveal that I began to have low self-esteem early on, maybe 12, 13 years old. I could blame family issues, hormones, first boyfriends, new friendships, school, work, the list goes on. But ultimately, WE control our emotions. Yes, outside factors and genetics can make us more vulnerable but it’s exciting to know that we can move beyond our circumstances as hard as they may be. And it can be VERY hard some days.
I initially dealt with my eating disorders by praying and working out. Strong IS the new skinny 😉 I initially dealt with my depression and anxiety through medications, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. I hated medication (a glass of wine is enough for me haha). It felt odd to not feel negative thoughts, to feel lethargic or not feeling relieved at all. I wanted to FEEL, just not so sad or anxious. So I stopped taking them after a few years. I also eventually stopped intermittently attending counseling sessions because I would feel better after the first few sessions. Little did I know managing emotions is a lifelong process.
I choose to not be on medications and not go to counseling. However, I strongly recommend it for those needing help. I choose to pray, remain healthy (which means moderation and balance) and to spend time or talk with friends and family.
Some people might say, “What does she have to worry about? Just cheer up!” Or “You’re fine. Get over it!” I totally get it. I would get mad at myself for feeling the way I did and wish many times I was someone else with a different brain.
How can someone with odds in her favor (yes, I just used a Hunger Games reference – not on purpose), feel depressed, anxious and even want to end it all? I cannot give you an answer. I do know I have overcome a lot and even though I have to remind myself daily to breathe and take care of myself, I am grateful to be able tell people about these issues. Illnesses like these cross the boundaries of economics, gender, looks, race, etc. I have always been an overall happy person and I wear my heart on my sleeve whether I am happy or not so happy. I am just now revealing something a lot of people don’t know about me and letting people know your emotions don’t rule your day. I hope by sharing, I can help someone else.