Hi there!!! It has been a while since my last post. I had a lot that I was going through (more on that later), but it has been quite a struggle. I will warn you though this is a departure from my funny upbeat posts that I usually write but it like all my posts are REAL. I am hoping that sharing this will help someone out there even if it is to know that they are not alone. Do not worry there will be more upbeat posts to come but I want to share this story with all of you.
If you look at me from a far you will see a funny upbeat person. I am normally the loudest at the party. I make a joke about everything!!! I need laughter in my life almost as much as I need food and water. I love to help people, but I refuse to ask for help. I cannot tell you how many people tell me they can always count on me for a smile, or that they I have an uncanny ability to know when they need me. These things are true, but if you scratch the surface and look you will see it is merely a mask. It is my defense mechanism to keep people seeing what is underneath. The sad truth that I keep hidden from everyone.
You see I have suffered from depression for over twenty years. At one point I was severely depressed, I am better now but my depression is still there right beneath the surface. I try to keep it locked away but it does sneak out sometimes no matter how hard I try to keep it buried. The day my world was rocked to the core began as a normal Sunday. I stayed in bed most of the day. I had this lingering sense of doom that hung over my head like a dark cloud the entire day. In an effort to shake it I decided to drive to Blockbuster to rent a movie.
That simple decision would turn out to be the worst choice I ever made. You see as I was driving to rent the movie I was in a fatal car accident. My two sisters were in the car with me (having decided to blow off church to spend time with me) and their screams as I hit a patch of water and hydroplaned would be the last time I ever heard their voice. Their screams that would wake me up at night for years still are there in the back of my mind. To this day I will awake to screaming. My life forever changed in the blink of an eye. The horror of losing them along with the realization that it was my fault. I have lived with guilt every day of my life. No amount of therapy will ever change that; I just have had to accept it. My life since them has been riddled with nightmares about not being able to save them. Watching my parents and my brother grieve all the while feeling guilty and wondering why it was not me instead. Sitting at family functions wondering how it would be different…if only.
I learned the hardest lesson in my life at the age of 20. We do not always get the answers that we seek in life. People would tell me that they were in a better place, and although I may not see it right away God had a plan. I was told God spared me for some special reason but here I sit looking at my life and I wonder if I will ever get the answers. I have learned to be OK with that. It was so very hard though.
Over time I learned to cope. Through medication (which I thankfully do not take anymore) and counseling I learned how to deal with the tremendous guilt that I had. Do I still feel guilty, yes every single day. ABSOLUTELY!!!! During those times I focus on people that need my help and that helps me tremendously. I have more good days than bad, and I count that as a win. A good friend that I made recently has shown me that it is OK to be vocal with your pain. I cannot tell you how much that has taught me. I have always suffered alone no one not even my husband knowing how tormented I was. I appreciate her more than she could ever know. I may never get the answers I seek but I have found the will to go on in spite of what life may continue to throw my way. Some days are brutal, but they make me appreciate the good ones even more!!
If you suffer from grief or loss do not be afraid to share. You do not have to keep it locked away. I am learning this now, but better late than never. In fact there is nothing more freeing than to me than writing this post. I am scared to share it but as I said before I hope this will at the very least show someone they are not alone. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever feel lost, as there is nothing better than a strong support system.
Lastly if you know someone that is depressed or that you feel may be depressed let him or her know you are there. They may refuse your help but trust me knowing you are there means a great deal to them. The best thing that you can do for someone is to let him or her know that you will be there for him or her. Keep tabs on your friends do not let them walk down a dark path alone. Always be someone’s light!!!!