I am 40 and I survived Depression
I grew up in a loving home with loving parents. My childhood was a traditional and religious one, full of love and laughter. I was probably described as an "emotional" child who was easily upset. When I was 13, I was assaulted by a friend of a cousin and I told no one. This event catapulted my proclivities towards depression and anxiety into a full storm. I began experiencing intense feelings of worthlessness, shame, and sadness that I could not combat. Over the course of the next 4 years, my struggle was at a life or death crossroad. At 17, I attempted suicide. Even as I type these words, I have never spoken those words. After my suicide attempt, my family NEVER spoke of it. My parents disallowed the medical professionals to prescribe me any medication and home we went to pretend that nothing had happened. But something had happened, I had attempted to end my life and it was dismissed and devalued as "a cry for help". I am 100% sure that my family loves me and I am equally sure that they don't understand mental illness. At 40 years old, I have come to the conclusion that it's ok. I've accepted that part of my struggle with depression is the unique power to cultivate change. That I can empower those around me with first hand knowledge of what depression and anxiety really are…how they manifest and how to support someone who fights against their own brain. The rational me knows I am valued by those around me. I know I have enormous gifts to offer the world. My anxiety and depression scream and shout otherwise. I have a wonderful husband who holds me when I beg to be normal and wish that I could be present in the moment. He reassures me that I am not broken and that I don't need to be fixed. Some days are easier than others…some days require immense faith and strength to go through the motions. My illness can't be seen, mine is not tangible. Mental illness is the only disease where the victim is perpetually blamed and ostracized for that which they didn't choose. My voice and my struggle has to be worth something. That something is change. Change in the perception and acceptance of mental illness. I don't know your struggle, but I do know that you are worth it. Whatever your "it" may be, keep fighting. I am worth it. I am a survivor of suicide; 💜
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