It seems to me that the “word” depression has become a staple in our vocabulary.  Everywhere we turn someone else has succumbed to the darkness of what the word represents.  Kids are being diagnosed younger and younger which is even more alarming.  The statistics are staggering and to be quite honest, extremely frightening.  How is it possible that in a world of plenty, people, especially children feel as though they have nothing to live for? 

Doctors tell us there is a chemical imbalance in the brain which causes depression to occur.  I am not doubting this, especially since I have no formal education in this field.  I just have a hard time believing that the millions upon millions of people suffering from depression today, all have chemical imbalances.  I believe many of us suffer from emotional imbalance which is never fully addressed in the medical field.  Today, we tell a doctor our symptoms, they give us a diagnosis, write a prescription for the latest drug on the market and send us on our merry way.  As we exit they tell us to make an appointment for next month, so they can follow up on our progress. Cocktails of drugs are experimented with until the right mix is formulated.  This benefits many people and helps them live a pretty “normal” life.  Not everyone is fortunate to get the right cocktail and they wind up battling depression their entire life.  

Very few, if any doctors, take the time to ask us what’s going on in our life. Sometimes I feel as though we are dehumanized and categorized as nothing more than another statistic.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t want to be added to a list of statistics.  This is why I decided years ago to take matters into my own hands.  If I had the problem, then I also had the solution.  The question was;  was I prepared to go in search of it.  My answer was;  hell no, we’re never prepared to search deep within.  However, if I wanted to survive, I’d have to bite the bullet and allow myself to heal from whatever sought to bring me down.  

The first thing I did was ask myself what is depression?  The obvious answer was that it’s a state of gloom and despair that leads us into darkness.  I did not want to live my life this way.  I needed a more tangible answer.  It took me years to discover the root of depression but I believe I found my answer.  I realized that Depression is the effect of not having life go as we planned.   Think about that for a minute.  Isn’t that why most of us get depressed?  We dream dreams, set goals and if they don’t come to pass we feel as though we’ve lost a part of our joy along the way.  What if the dreams we set for ourselves were never part of the broader dream that was there for us to find?   What if we’d been trying to live our life through someone else’s dreams?  Dreams that were made through others for us or worse yet, by the dreams we saw others living.  

Getting To Know Me

As I’ve stated in previous blogs, I don’t quite fit the norm.  This fact burdened me well into my thirties.  I felt different, acted differently and had a hard time relating to the “norms” of society.  Talk about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  I felt as though I didn’t fit in anywhere.  The only place that brought me peace, happiness and contentment was a place deep inside my soul.  Unfortunately, that place where I felt alive went against what was forming on the surface.  I was trying to adapt to the outside world, while secretly struggling to let go of the world within.  I spent years trying to adjust my thoughts and actions so that I could acclimate to the world around me.   This only caused me more anguish.  I wanted more than what this world offered.

What was it that I wanted?  I wanted to express what I felt inside.  To become that person and to share that part of me with those around me. I just didn’t know how the world would accept that part of me so I conjured up an illusion of who I thought I should be.  The problem was that I began to believe that I was that person.  In reality, I was fighting to be something I was not, and in the midst of it, I was losing sight of who I should be.  That’s when I decided to take a good look at myself so I could get to understand everything about me.

I believe that most people are afraid to get to know who they really are.  I think there’s a high percentage of us that conjure up a concept of who we ought to be, then go out into the world and try to live up to it.  We dream dreams that aren’t ours to dream.  They belong to someone else or were projected on us by someone else.  We get so caught up in these dreams that we forget to listen to that tiny voice inside that wants to be set free in order to help us go after the dreams of the heart.  

Some people are able to hear that tiny voice and they run through life challenged yet able to achieve what they were meant to do.  They live the dreams they were destined to live.  But many of us are not that lucky.  We get sideswiped by trying to become another version of ourselves.  That version may never see their dreams come to fruition because those dreams weren’t ours to begin with.  That doesn’t mean our dreams are not tangible, they are. We just haven’t gone in search of them.  We weren’t listening to the tiny voice within.  The one that leads us to a similar destination, by taking a different path.

Getting To Know All About Me

Looking back on my life, especially as a child, I can understand how I could have lost sight or rather was too afraid to introduce myself to the world.  How could I introduce someone who I had been stifling?  I had no idea how to bring her to the surface, so she could breathe.  I didn’t know how to make her speak.  I was taught children should be seen and not heard.  That we should never speak unless spoken to.  If we did speak, we should never air our dirty laundry or tell our personal business to anyone.  They could one day use it against us.  No wonder why the real me never surfaced.  She was terrified.  Because of this, I must have conjured up a different version of who I should be. A quiet unassuming child who would learn to keep her emotions to herself.  A child who set dreams for herself that were fear-based, which in my opinion made them unattainable.  

Fortunately for me, that tiny voice that I kept locked away, always spoke to me.  It helped me get through some of my darkest despair, with very little battle scars.   It had logic and reason and taught me how to see beyond the pain into the triumph.  Unfortunately, the person that I conjured up had a mind of its own. It wanted accountability toward anyone or anything that stood in its way of having the life it felt it was entitled to. It became a means of emotional hoarding.  It stored away everything that the tiny voice was unable to heal.  That version of me suffered from bouts of depression.  There were times that I was afraid depression would take over my life.  Sure, I could have turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and help me cope but in the long run, they would only add fuel to an already burning fire within. If I were to save myself, I had to let the real me emerge. Each and every time I brought her up I was amazed at what she brought with her.  Foolishly, I allowed her to visit but not stay.  I suppose I needed to protect her from being harmed.  She had become my refuge and I wanted to keep her safe from the world.  I had almost forgotten that the world she came from was fearless because God was her strength.  

Getting To Like Me

Slowly but surely I am appreciating the real me.  She helps me unveil things about myself that I had overlooked because I spent to much time on the conjured up version of me.  For years I thought the real me was my weaker version, when in fact it is my strength.  I allowed myself to be misguided by not realizing that I was leading myself into a path where depression wanted to control me

I like the real me.  She knows how to cope with everyday stress.  She’s quick-witted and smarter than I ever gave her credit for.  She keeps me grounded (most of the time) and she is teaching me how to speak my truth.  Because I took the risk and dove into my core, I’ve learned that the dreams God set before me are the ones I should search for.  Those dreams surpass any dream I conjured up for myself. 

Getting To Hope You Like Me

In discovering my true identity I have also brought to life secret desires of my heart that I had only seen glimpses of before.  One of my desires is to get to know the real person inside the people I meet.  I like going beyond the surface into the depth of the soul.  My passion is to help people see beyond the darkness into the light.  I try doing this through the gifts God has bestowed on me.  I best express myself through my writing.  I try to communicate all that I’ve learned through what I write.  I believe I am Divinely inspired to share what I’ve learned with anyone that chooses to listen.  I don’t do it in hopes that you like me.  I like me and that’s what makes me happy.  Hoping you like me means I hope the real me inspires you to like your true self as well.  There are no pretenses attached to our true self.  We travel through life not seeking attention but seeking to share our gifts with the world, knowing that the world gives back to us in return.

Never Give Up On Yourself

Please know that there is always help and hope for all who have a hard time dealing with life.  I taught myself the coping skills I needed in order to survive.  I know other challenges may stand before me but I also know this.

Life was not meant to be easy.  It’s a boot camp.  We are all in training and are given our own obstacle course to run.  It was designed exclusively for each individual.  It is meant for us to win.  If we compare ours to someone else’s, we’ll never learn how to get through ours.  Don’t focus on someone else’s path.  Concentrate on your own.  Learn how to jump your hurdles and run the distance.  Gain strength as you leap.  If you fall, see it as a time to rest and learn a better strategy.  That fall may have been an aid in discovering who you really are.  Take whatever time is needed to get to know all about that little voice that might be whispering to you to set it free.  Allow that person of strength to finish the race, so you can claim your victory.  There is never failure in discovering who we were meant to be.  That’s what this life is all about.  Running the course by being the best version of our self.   Remember, To thine own self be true.

Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.

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