I’ve been trying to think of a clever opening for this, but I think there is no way to be clever here. I found my way into a depressive episode two weeks ago. It didn’t have a specific trigger. It was one of those moments where the familiar feelings of illness slowly built up around me until I found myself crying in a heap on the floor on a Saturday night.
It’s a humbling moment that reminds you of all those posts that say “healing is not linear.” Logically you know that, but when the mental illness sinks in after a period of relative reprieve, you almost get frustrated. “How could this be happening again?” I have asked myself that question at least one thousand times in the last two weeks.
The thing I have had to remind myself is that I am not hypocritical in running my business because I too find myself struggling with my mental illness. I am not any less qualified to do what I do because I find myself spiraling into the lowest pits of depression. In fact, that makes me all the more qualified. It gives me that understanding, that awareness, and that compassion for those who are in the grips of a mental illness, even when I’m in a healthier place. Because I’ll never not remember how painful those lows were.
This post isn’t being written for you to feel sorry for me. This post is here to serve as a reminder that it’s okay if you find yourself back in a place you thought you left behind. I say okay knowing it’s not fun, alright, it’s down right shitty, but you are not failing if your illness creeps back in. You are not a bad person. You are not worthless. You are not all the mean things you tell yourself you are in moments of frustration and fear and pain. I’m saying that to me as much as I’m saying that to you, because I’ve said all of those things about myself since this episode started.
Okay, I said it to myself this morning, hours before this post went live.
But I’m here. I’m breathing. I’m trying. I’m taking some baby steps forward. They are on wobbly legs that could give way at any moment, but they are baby steps nonetheless. And I’m here, in community with you, which feels like a very good place to be.
Whenever you doubt your worth or if anyone could possibly understand, I can promise there is a curly-headed, box obsessed, self-care nerd, laying on her couch in Boston, who very much understands the struggle and wants to walk hand-in-hand with you through the storm.