When I came to Oregon, I was in denial about my depression, well somewhat. I had just moved to the Portland area and I was nervous. It was the first time that I’d been on my own. It was the first time that I was able to actually express my independence in a real way. In some ways, this was empowering and I was thrilled. I wanted to show my family that I could do it, I could get a job, pay my rent and do this on my own. I crowdfunded $5000, I got a large writing job that paid $6000 and I was able to finance our journey. My kids’ dad was able to help us with the move and fly us out to Portland. We did it! As a family we made it happen! But once I settled into my new apartment the excitement and the newness waned and I was absolutely terrified. What was I going to do when I ran out of my savings? I was going to have to find work and be an adult. I am 38 years old and I have never actually lived “on my own.” I’ve always had my parents nearby and literally upstairs from me for a long time. They finally moved out of our old house and I was able to make the hard decision to move across the country. I knew that I love Portland and I would be happy here. But when I got here I was extremely depressed. I was scared, I cried every day, I thought “what have I done?” I wondered “Was this a mistake?” It was awful, my feelings were painful and I worried a lot. Would this depression lift? I had given up hope because the idea from my old doctor was that I was bipolar. Getting here was a blessing because later on, I would get a proper diagnosis, but I didn’t know that and I had no way of knowing that. I am intuitive but I am not able to tell the future, although I do read tarot cards. I am able to read people’s energy because I have so much Scorpio in my chart.
Depression kicked my ass for a while and it sucked big time. I went into my psychiatric nurse’s office and I said: “I have lost hope.” It was terrible. I was ready to give up on life and myself. Despite the fact that I had been through excruciatingly painful times and that I had lived through them, I couldn’t forsee getting through this episode. I didn’t see it as an episode, I saw it as “my new life,” and I was prepared to be miserable indefinitely. It was all I’d know for the past four months. I was devastated, but I wanted hope. I wanted to feel better and I fought so hard to get to a place where I was well. There were so many moments where I wanted to give up. I didn’t even know what “giving up” meant. But I knew that I was exhausted from fighting.
Listen up: if you don’t understand how awful depression feels, please educate yourself. If you’re not sure if depression is real, it is. If you are scared because your friend is depressed, you should be. Depression kills people. Get educated, learn more and be aware of when someone is suffering.
If you are interested, I wrote a 10-step Depression Work Book with Dr. Simon Rego. Get it here!