I have struggled with anxiety and depression most of my adult life and I am speaking about it openly because I am so tired of struggling in private - it's time for women and men of color to get real and honest about their mental health. Our mental health matters and if me coming out and sharing my struggles helps someone find the courage to face theirs, my job here is done.
I have always been more sensitive than most where someones words always hurt a little bit more, I always felt things a little too much but that never felt problematic until recently. My battle with depression and anxiety comes in waves - some days I feel so good nothing can bring me down but occasionally I get hit with one of those hard days where laying in bed sounds better than facing the world. I I lost myself for a little while and since we're being honest I'm still trying to find her but I'm closer than I was. I miss the happy go lucky girl who could laugh for hours, the girl who loved herself and didn't care about anything else. These days I find solace in sitting on my couch staring out the window wondering why it felt like the world hated me, why it felt so lonely inside my head all of the time yet when some suggested I get out more, talk to my old friends more I would say, "of course, your right." but the truth was, they weren't right. Those people would never understand how hard it is to get in the car and drive, how some days I can get up and go turn up like old times and some days I can't make myself unlock the door and walk to my car. It felt safer to lock myself away because I felt ashamed that this was who I was.
Depression is a crippling emotion that makes me feel like I'm on the brink of madness. It makes me feel like one wrong move and my carefully constructed house of cards will come tumbling down and all I can do is watch. Its the emotion you've buried so deep you're afraid to talk about it. Its that space where you're afraid to admit your struggles and admit that sometimes you fail. You forget to remind yourself that you're human. I spent so long avoiding feeling anything because I had a carefully planned facade I used when I entered the world. I needed people to see the strong, stylish Breana because if they really knew me they would hate me almost as much as I hated myself.
I sometimes look at my husband and it pains me that he has me as a wife or that my moms have me as their kid. It pains me that I'm not as strong as I want to be, that I'm more human than I care to admit. I wonder if I'm the life they signed up for and if I could just be normal they would love me more. But then days like today happen, I remember how much they love me, how much I love myself and I open the door, walk outside, get in my car and drive.