When I first thought about writing this blog I thought I wanted to go deeper into every detail that I have gone through the last two years. I know at some point that it may be important to share something more in depth about the health struggles I have faced but I felt there was a more important message that I needed to write about today.
A very BRIEF back story. If you have followed along on my journey you know that a few weeks ago I was in the ER with heart episodes. I have struggled with anxiety my entire life so I blew them off as panic attacks until it started happening every single time I would wake up. Didn’t matter if it was in the middle of the night, in the morning, or just taking a nap. It happened every. single. time. I wore a heart monitor for 48 hours and had 7 episodes just in that short amount of time. The monitor showed Tachycardia where my heart rate would sky rocket to 140 every time I woke up, luckily there were no signs of changes in rhythms and I went on to have further testing done, like an echo-cardiogram and bubble test which came back stone cold clear. Until further testing, I have been instructed to get my anxiety and depression and weight (gain weight) under control, and an exact quote from my cardiologist “you’re brave for facing this head on.” Yes, I guess so. Which means that this could possibly be anxiety and depression and that my body just had had enough and I can say that even though this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through in my life, I am hoping that that is true. This broke me so hard to the point I actually knows what it feels like to be so depressed and hopeless that I actually wanted to die. The episodes I was having in the beginning, hit me so hard that at times my dad had to physically help me walk, I couldn’t stand on my own, my body felt like it got hit by a train every time this happened to me. I was very lucky to get into doctors who are helping me get on the right medication to keep my heart rate from going over a scary rate and to ease my anxiety while I work through this.
But here is my message…
I had a loved one say to me something along the lines of this… “you’ve had multiple fucking doctors tell you that this is all in your head. You have the choice to be happy, so just snap out of it. You have a good life, you have most everything you could ever want, there isn’t anything to be depressed about.”
Just snap out of it
This is easy for someone who has never experienced the depth of darkness that depression and anxiety can do to say. Depression in a lot of people’s minds means that someone is just choosing to be unhappy because they hate their life, I get it- it has that reputation to the uneducated. I am even guilty of feeling this once- when I had to deal with someone close to me that went through anxiety and depression and ended up in a mental institution. At the time I was so angry at this person. I didn’t understand why this was happening and why this person couldn’t get better-why they couldn’t “just snap out of it.” I couldn’t understand, and I wish I knew then what I know now. I now understand, because now I have lived it.
Depression and anxiety do not discriminate. You could have everything you’ve ever wanted in the entire world yet if your body is chemically out of whack, none of that will matter. People tend to look at depression and anxiety not as illnesses, but as a choice and I think that’s where we all go wrong. It can hit anyone at anytime in their lives. It could be the dad who seems like he has it altogether, it could be the celebrity who makes billions of dollars a year, it could be a homeless woman, it could be anyone.
If you are dealing with a loved one who suffers from depression and anxiety, first and foremost, I just want to say- I’m sorry. I understand how extremely frustrating it can feel. I understand that seeing someone you love so unhappy and incapable of moving through their hurt is so hard and sometimes it can be hard not to take it personally. I understand, I have been in that place before- like I stated above, but what I ask of you is this. Do not give up on them. Do not set them back, do not lash out, do not get angry at them. Educate yourself. Educate yourself and how you can be a form of support, a form of safety and peace. Through support by loved ones, medicine, spirituality (in whatever form that may be), through positivity, through strength, through it all- this is something that can be treated and this is something that people can get through with support. It is not okay to make them feel alone. It is not okay to to make them feel like it is their fault.
If you’re suffering, I want you to know that your life is not over. You will get through this and you will get stronger each day. Depression and anxiety can make you feel so alone- but seek support. Let the people who are willing-help you. You’re not weak for that, I promise you this. This is something that I struggle with. I have always been the type to not ask for help, I used to refuse to go to the doctor, refuse to take medicine- because it made me feel weak. Listen to me- you are so far from weak. In fact-you may be one of the strongest people on this earth because of what you have had to face- I know not everyone is strong enough to overcome and not everyone would be able to handle what it’s like to know anxiety and depression but this isn’t the end for you. There is hope.