my birthday was last week. june 12th to be exact. it comes and goes every year. whether its a good one depends on which friend group decides they want to hang or not, and which friend group decides we’re turning up or i’m just gonna stay. my 22nd birthday was one for the books. i went out for three days straight (never again, but it was great back then) and i felt so loved and so grateful for all those that were around me. my 23rd birthday was quite the opposite. my husband and i were on our honeymoon. he took me to get my nails done, we ate, did all the grown up things (marriage is great y’all) and it was calm and so satisfying. there was one thing in particular that remained the same during both birthday celebrations: my depression showed up. sis was loud and ready to make a scene at any point. i call my depression “sis” because its not me. its like its an ugly step sister, maybe even an adopted sister that just ruins everyones lives around her and she carried herself over into the rest of the week. i was sure to just put it on the back-burner. i wanted my husband and i to have a great week. i didnt want any of my mental health issues to ruin our mini paradise, so i refused to give her space in my head. i lasted all week. i kept a smile on, but by friday, i was starting to get tired and it was showing, but i didn’t mention it.
when i say theres nothing worse than keeping issues with your mental health to yourself, theres nothing worse than keeping issues with your mental health to yourself. ill say it one more time: there’s nothing worse than keeping issues with your mental health to yourself. i went all week without saying anything. we came back home and got back into our normal routine quickly. H went to work every day and i decided to stay home and not spend all our hard earned money LOL. however, i started to melt. day after day my mental health grew worse and worse. i was scrying (scream crying) every day. i was extremely angry and finding myself speaking on things i had no business saying about myself. i was in a pit and it didnt feel like it was shawn. sis was so deep inside me that i was drowning, and guess what, someone around me felt it. my husband, God bless his heart, is the strongest person i know. when we were going through a time where he was struggling mentally, he was still strong and so persistent about his journey and he was ready to change. i saw a warrior grow out of my man and to this day he knows how to fight those kinds of battles, and you would think i would follow his lead…
depression is funny, yall. its true. you’re fine one second and then youre not. people arent lying when the say that. it hits when it wants, but you gotta remember something…
…it’s not just about you, sis.
i didnt know this (or maybe i did) but because i wasnt actively trying to take care of my mental health, it was impacting the person i love most in this world. but how didnt i know that? why didnt i think “man, this must be taking a toll on my husband??” because, sometimes depression turns me into a selfish person. i just needed all the attention on me. i was the one thats going through. im the one feeling all this pain and hurt. the tears were falling from MY face… and not once did i think of him.
its not just about you, sis.
yeah. a lot of times we carry mental health as something that needs to be taken care of, but often we think of it the wrong way. i know i did. something like, “well i need to get MYSELF together. i NEED this for ME. blah blah blah” but sometimes, you need help. i dont always know why im depressed. i havent paid much attention to my triggers. i wasnt trying to figure out different ways to calm myself down. i just wanted someone else to feel sorry for me and figure out the problem. well folks, he didnt. and now, i wont allow him to.
all this to say, it seriously isnt all about you, sis. pay attention to those around you and how you act when youre in that head space. its hard to hear, but combating your depression or any kind of mental health ailments may be the answer to mending your relationships: inward and outward. in order for the relationships around you to be stable and healthy, you have to be stable and healthy. you have to be willing to work with actions involved, not just words. you have to be willing to dig deep inside yourself and find the problem. you have to be willing to say you’re sorry and give space to those that need it. the battle is not solely yours.
get help, sis. i am.