Finding Purpose at Your Weakest

Defeating depression often calls for drastic measures.

Having lived a lifetime with depression, you aren’t seeking happiness.  A triumph is having achieved one day of normalcy. Just one day every so often and I was able to get out of bed and hop in the shower. Or if I could go inside Wal-Mart, walk through the aisles at ease. That one day I can attend my daughters’ school concert, waving as they sing to the crowd. To have that day and stand in the main row, taking pictures like all the other parents. A day I could sit in a crowded school gym, without becoming the spectacle of the evening due to anxiety leaving me to shake uncontrollably.

The last few years, I have mothered from my bed with my only reprieve being the alarm going on at 7: 30pm..bedtime!  The downside being the alarm that goes off at 7am. I would wake up in an immediate panic and feel disappointed yet again that I didn’t wake up feeling rested, normal or able to get out of the bed.  When days turn into months and months turn into years, you want to give up because there is no relief.  And while I continue this battle, what the illness cannot change or take from is the love I have inside, hope I have for others, empathy I have for those that have less than me.  The old cliché that “misery loves company” doesn’t hold any weight on this end. I would not wish MDD or any mental health disorders on anyone and ironically, unable to help myself, I feel a touch of normalcy or rather a tingle in my heart when I can help someone else.

Years ago I decided if I ever reached a point where my depression was at least manageable, I’d find a way to connect and reach out to others.  Well, here I am, the mask is off and I am telling MY TRUTH. We deal with stigmas and stereotypes and many of us live in shame.  All because we suffer from illnesses invisible to others who don’t understand why we cannot get up and come out of the house to socialize for an hour.  I don’t blame the mentally sound for not understanding.  We need to stop letting other’s opinions and attitudes interfere with what WE need to do for ourselves. 

We are constantly stigmatized and scrutinized by those who are “aware” of our secret. Everything that makes us who we are, once made, we are immediately reduced and defined entirely by an illness…

I am alive, writing and today woke up feeling normal.  I am looking forward to when daughter Sofia comes barging in my room to give me her morning hug.  I am even looking forward to my “tween” Eva, up shortly after, complaining Sofia woke her up.  Little things, yes, but considering where I was a year ago…. I am grateful to be here. 

I was desperate some months ago and was very close to giving up because I was not living, and I felt that my daughters deserved so much better.  I went to work each day to continue my health care coverage in order to pay for my anti-anxiety pills just to deal with all the office woes. My world became even darker when the person I could talk openly to, connected with and who I needed…my father…was diagnosed with cancer. My heart now ached for two as I watched the strongest man I’d ever known wither away over a short period. He held on as long as he could, because contrary to myself he was so full with life and loved living .  Dad just wanted to be with his family, something so simple he was so deserving of. Yet it was taken from him so quickly.

Immediately following his death, any life left inside of me was gone.  I often went to bed hoping that God would please let me join my father in Heaven.  But day after day would go by and while I by no means appeared healthy or kept, I was still here.  Somewhere between the anger and the sadness I had to find a purpose to keep living.  I felt that guilt once again. Dad wanted so badly to live, enjoying his retirement years with Mom and his grandchildren.  How dare I give up at a time like this. What a dishonor I realized it was to not fight to live.  My father did it for months, in pain, fear and emasculated, yet he fought through it all just to live another day. All while his daughter was quietly hoping each day would be her last.

Somewhere between the anger and the sadness I had to find a purpose to keep living.

I made some major changes. And I am certain many had serious doubts.  But I am here, writing and reaching out to you as I promised myself I would.  So, I ask you to please keep trying and not give up.  You have a purpose or else you would not be here.  I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog and I will go more in depth while often finding some humor to add. I welcome you to share, comment, ask questions but most important, know that you have support! You are valuable and I DO know what you’re feeling. Keep fighting warriors!
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About Me

A NY native now residing in AZ, Alyson was diagnosed over 20 years ago with Depression & Anxiety. Through her passion for writing, she’s now sharing her personal stories and struggles with Mental Illness while parenting, working and relationships.