I’ve been extremely transparent about the resurfacing of my depression. This has been a struggle and unfortunately my truth for many years.
I’ve learned over time that I internalize everything, and I’m a bit over obsessive. Let’s go back a bit. My depression began in my early teens, also the time of my first suicide attempt. I knew I was unusually sad and life felt heavy, but it wouldn’t be until years later that I’d finally find out why. I was put on antidepressants, which I’d take for several years until weaning myself off. Eventually I learned to function without it. Eventually I became a functioning depressive, much like a functioning drunk. Depression became my new normal. It’s amazing to me how we can learn to function normally in complete dysfunction.
What does it look like for me, and why is it back?
Depression for me looks like zero motivation. It looks like major fatigue. Insomnia. Bouts of unexpected tears. Loneliness. Moments of anxiousness. Tiredness. Feelings of despair. Anger. Rumination.
I believe my depression has resurfaced for several reasons. I could list them all but I won’t. What I will do is tell you that my failure to set healthy boundaries is one of them. I’ll also say that my lapse in therapy is another reason. I’ve been in therapy for years, and while it’s been a huge help, I’ve always felt like something was missing. It felt more like a scene out of a movie...
Therapist in chair. Notebook in hand. Lots of nodding. I would leave at times still feeling defeated.
I kept hearing and seeing so many black women talk about how having a black therapist made such a big difference in their lives. In all of the years I have been going to therapy, I had never seen a black therapist. Now please understand, I believe there are qualified therapist in all shades, but I needed something more and something different, someone that looked like me. Someone who could relate to my experiences as a black woman.
I started doing my research. Fortunately for me, I’m double covered. Can we say, thank God for good insurance! I’ve been seeing therapist in the organization where I work, but in the area where I live, not one black therapist. Not one! So I decided to check my secondary coverage and there were pages and pages of names...but no pictures. So here I am, do I look for the names that sound black? Or do I call and just ask? I did both. Keeping it all the way real. This may sound crazy to some, but it was important to me.
Scrolling through names like my life depended on it. First name...googled her, and guess what, she was black! Called her, but no availability. Kept on down the list, second therapist, also a black woman, no availability. Third call, fourth call, no availability. At this point I started to get discouraged. Kept searching and found a black man, so I called him. Y’all, It was a no based on the phone conversation. Sometimes you just know when it ain’t go work. Energy doesn’t lie!
After the fifth fail, I chilled for a few days. I needed to regroup. After my break from searching, I picked up where I left off. I came across another name. I googled her, pic came up and she was also a black woman. Okay, now before I got all excited, I said, “let me do some reading”. She specialized in all of the things I needed help with, AND she accepted our insurance. Time for the phone call. I called and there was no answer. I left a message. As soon as I hung up, I received a text!
It read, Hello, this is Dr. ____________, I provide (this kind of therapy) and if you’re looking for an appointment, I have one available on July 30th at 3PM. If you’re interested, call this number. This was on July 21st at 11:14 AM. Y’all, hear me when I say, I didn’t even finish reading the message before I called the number, because at this point, the need was urgent. Why? Because I was not okay.
Here is what I know about depression, it doesn’t just go away. Yes, there are periods where everything is fine, but y’all, when it’s bad, it’s all bad and sometimes prayer isn’t enough. Sometimes you need a little extra help.
Now back to the therapist. It’s July 30th, appointment day. In the text she told me she’d send me a link for my appointment. I hadn’t received the link, so I sent a follow-up text. It’s after 1 PM on the day of and no response. I called the number I originally called to make the appointment, no response there either. I immediately went into panic mode because I knew I needed to talk to someone! 1:46 PM, she text back...I took a deep breath and calmed myself.
I forgot to mention, the week of my appointment, my phone broke. It just stopped working out of the blue. I couldn’t make or receive calls. Apps would close abruptly. My copy and paste feature stopped working. In simpler terms, my damn phone has a massive heart attack. So before I tell y’all about my appointment, let me tell you about the blessing of my phone being broken, yes blessing. My phone being broke made me unavailable, and God knew I needed that...because boundaries.
The day of the appointment, not one issue with my broken phone. I was able to log onto our video call and what happened next was life changing. I made sure to keep an open mind going into it.
Have you ever encountered someone whose aura just exuded peace? This was her! I talked. She talked. She corrected my negative self talk. She listened. I cried. She allowed me to. She asked questions, and y’all, she gave me homework! After our call, I felt lighter. I felt encouraged. I felt like I could do life. This appointment was divinely timed.
This blog isn’t for pity, but to bring awareness. Dealing with depression can be exhausting, confusing and downright scary, but there is hope. There are so many tools and resources available, and some are free! Here is a link to a very helpful article addressing mental health, including several resources.
For those of you with friends, family and love ones dealing with depression, check on them (if you can). Something as simple as, “how are you doing?” can be life changing for someone suffering!
For all of you out there suffering, I see you. I hear you! I am you! We will get through this, together! If no one told you today, you are strong. You are powerful. You are loved!
Until next time...🦋