This may be the hardest thing I've ever written, knowing I may be putting it out into the world. Even as I am typing I kinda want to hit the backspace button as the words appear on the screen. But if me sharing this helps even one person, it is worth me stepping so outside of my comfort zone that I can't even see it.
So here goes.
I have depression. I hate saying that. Hate admitting it, as if by saying it, it makes it more real by admitting it out loud. It's something I see as one of my biggest weaknesses, and something I have struggled against my entire life, even as a kid. I have no idea why I have it. I really have no reason to be depressed. My childhood was amazing. Seriously. If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. My life hasn't been perfect, but it's been pretty great, and I am blessed in so many ways. So there is no reason in my mind why I should have this sadness weighing on me. Why I should suddenly be sad and crying for no reason over the littlest things, or for no reason at all.
This has cost me friendships and relationships because it means I am more sensitive. It means I sometimes withdraw into myself and push others away, or get stuck in my own head and blow something way out of proportion that should have barely registered as a problem. It means that I sometimes take things that people say the wrong way, make them into a worst case scenario, and freak out, when really it isn't that big of a deal. All of this can come across as me being negative to others who don't understand, and I am perceived as a negative person. Being called negative is seriously one of the worst things to me. It hurts me to my core. Because overall I am a positive person. But sometimes I just can't stave off that darkness, that fear that those I care about will walk away from me, leaving me a crumpled and broken person yet again. That fear that I will be alone and never find those who want me and love me unconditionally. I love hard, I jump all in, and I am one of the most loyal people out there. But that fear and sadness pulls me down and causes me to hurt the very relationships I value the most.
So I hide that sadness. I hide the darkness. I hide the depression. I hide it by doing things what brings me the most joy. By giving to others to uplift them. By doing what I love. By being around people who make me smile and uplift me. But I can't always hide it. It still creeps in. No matter how busy I keep myself. No matter how happy I am, and no matter how hard I try to keep it back. The worst part is that it seems to come out once I am comfortable with a person. Once I fully trust them, and hand my heart over in friendship or love, the insecurities kick in, the defense mechanisms kick in, and the darkness makes an appearance. The sadness ends up coming to the surface with the last people I want to see it. Which usually means they pull away, or see me as negative...or just give up on me and walk away.
I want to fix myself. I want to let that darkness go, but I don't know how. Maybe getting it out in the open instead of hiding it will start that process. Maybe by sharing it with those I care about, they will understand me more and not be so quick to judge me or call me negative when I falter and lose my sunshine/ Maybe by sharing it and helping others with the same problem know that they AREN'T alone, it may in turn help me to heal.
Honestly, even as I write this, I don't know if I will have the strength to share it. I don't know if I will be able to admit something to others that I've hidden for so long from myself. But I want to be stronger. I want to be that light that I know I am. If it helps even one other person reach out or feel stronger than it will be worth it right?
So here goes.
My name is Shauna. I am a happy and positive person, but I am also broken. I am strong with a beautiful soul, but I also suffer from depression and a darkness that doesn't completely disappear no matter how happy I am. But I will NOT let this darkness rule me or change who I am. Because I am stronger than that. I have plans. Big plans. I AM going to make a difference in this world, and nothing can stop me, not even myself.
Who's with me?