The D Word…

Depression was always a hidden subject for me personally. I always thought depression was for those who were going through things and sometimes felt like the world was falling down on them.  It couldn’t have applied to me, because I didn’t feel that. Wrong. Depression comes in many shapes and forms, it can stay for short or long time periods, and it will affect you in different ways. Depression comes a lot like death, I’ve never experienced death but what I’ve been told my whole life is that death comes like a thief in the night, no one knows the time or the hour. That sounds a lot like depression to me, it comes into my world, randomly most times, and it sneaks up on me and lays around until I decide to kick it out my space. Like most feelings, it can only consume you for as long as you allow it. Every time it comes around, I try my best to not allow it to drown me.

 

I’ve dealt with depression since I was a teenager. If I didn’t feel like things were going great, if I was being held to an extremely high standard (which was almost always), or if I felt like I was being judged, I would feel this sense of defeat. I would turn to different outlets, writing being a major one, my friends, and music.  These were all the tools I needed to get out of that space, but what happens when you’re an adult and those tools aren’t readily available? When thoughts would come in and refuse to leave? I’m not as successful as this person. I have all these credentials, how come no one is hiring me? Everyone is in a relationship, how come I’m still single? I’m not consistent with things, this is why I’m always behind. Just simple thoughts like these would put me so far down sometimes, it would take me days to truly shake it off. Even worse, is smiling through it; when you want to tell someone, anyone really, that today, you’re just not up to it. But they don’t get it, because people often times don’t consider that feelings are real and contrary to what they see, sometimes, you don’t feel how you look. In my family especially, there is no room for you to be depressed. What can you possibly be sad for? They’d ask before listing all the things you should be grateful for and make it seem as if you’re wrong for feeling how you do. This is a problem. A problem I learned I would only solve by telling no one but God about it or dealing with it head on, and fighting it down.

 

I learned to unpack my feelings in many ways. First, take off the mask. Whatever I was feeling, no matter the time, the place, or who was around, I felt and acknowledged it. The only difference now was I didn’t let the feeling linger around or get a chance to plant itself. Next, the phone would go on silent and I’d meditate; I learned through meditation the art of getting thoughts and letting them go as quickly as they came. Then, for every negative thought or feeling, I would talk myself up. Not any wishy-washy bullshit either, gone were the days of speaking without purpose or intent, I firmly would talk to myself the way I would encourage those I love; I would tell myself all the positive attributes I knew about myself. You’re smart, you’re creative, you’re funny as hell, you’re beautiful inside and out, there is no one in this world like you, you’re one of one (thank you Nipsey Hussle for that last one lol). These are just the few of the things I’ve done, that worked for me. Like I said earlier, depression is different for everyone and sometimes it takes more than meditation and affirmations to get through it. Times like that, reach out. Call a hotline or a friend, go out into the world and see the beauty of simple things around you, or my favorite, find something that takes you away from that present feeling of defeat. If it’s one thing I learned about depressing is it hates a fighter, so when it comes around, give it fight, don’t give it chance to linger around and make your mind it’s home. Most importantly, forget the internet, forget what your peers are doing, and forget the expectations, do what brings you joy. And love yourself unconditionally, with all of your imperfections, that’s what makes us who we are and no one else has those traits.

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Crossing 25

Yesterday, August 1st, I turned 26 years old. (Happy Birthday To Me!!) This was the first birthday that I had in a while where I didn’t have any anxiety, I wasn’t stressed, and I was thinking about a five-year plan. When I turned twenty-five, I was worried about so many things, a lot of them had absolutely nothing to do with me. I remember twenty-five being this thing, as if, a shift was supposed to happen that I had no control over. However, I learned that it was the opposite. I had the utmost control and the potential to make it work to my advantage. Everyone told me that the mid-20s were about finally building; you had to find the right job, the right mate, the right everything. Being the over-thinker that I am, I was worried sick about this. I had one part time job, I had absolutely no love interest, and I felt as if I was behind. Life has this amazing way of humbling you. Life on that 25th hill, taught me three very important things.

 

  1. Patience

I learned that there were things I had to sit out. I couldn’t be everywhere, all the time, whenever. There were events that I would have to miss and opportunities would arise when the time was right. Divine timing is not a joke. There would be people and situations that would enter your life for a reason. A lesson must be taught and you must have the patience to sit through the class. Sometimes, we want to skip over a few steps and it doesn’t work that way. Learning to have patience meant using this time to research, strategize, and practice before I could go to the next step. I had to master some things before I could get there, and having patience helped because I didn’t miss anything that may be beneficial for the future.

  1. Honesty

This doesn’t mean that I was not always an honest person, I tend to be too honest at times, but what I learned about honesty at twenty-five was that it did not apply only to everyone else; it meant honesty with myself as well.  I learned to put the mirror up and truly see myself for who I was; what were my strengths? What were my weaknesses? What was I truly interested in? How did I behave when no one was looking? When I started taking time to assess and understand who I was fully as a person, changes were made. If I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t force myself to do so. If I didn’t like something, I spoke up about it. I stopped hiding myself in fear of how I was perceived, instead I showed up and showed out, this is me. You have the option to take it or leave it. Those who were meant to stay did and those who weren’t, well, I don’t what they’re doing #blockanddelete

  1. Work Ethic

Opportunities may be few and far between, but whether they are there or not, I learned to be on the job anyway. I learned that my work ethic determined how opportunities would present themselves. If I was doing mediocre work, I was getting mediocre rewards. If I was putting in 150%, I was getting 150% in rewards. It didn’t matter if I wasn’t where I wanted to be, how did I behave where I was presently? What made me special? What was I doing that made me different than every other worker? Once I figured that out, I began to apply myself more; I thought different. I planned more efficiently because I had to do my best no matter where I was; if I was a terrible worker in the entry level, I would be terrible on the next level and I didn’t want that.

 

Everyone’s twenties are different; foundations we start out on will be different, how we handle situations will be different, that’s why it is okay if you’re not doing what everyone else is. Sure, I don’t have the ‘right’ job, mate, or a plan set in stone for the next few years, but I have other things. I have the ability to build myself to be prepared for when those things arise. I have the work ethic for the ‘right’ job when the opportunity presents itself (and the ability to create it if it doesn’t). I know who I am with or without anyone else, so I am solid in what I want and/or need from the ‘right’ mate. And I have patience. I used my time of solitude to brainstorm and strategize what I want and/or need years from now.  Comparing how shook I was last year to now, I can’t stop laughing at myself. Twenty-five was not all that scary, don’t believe the hype.