“You are the most together person I know so what’s really going on?” My friend said to me just last night over dinner.
I laughed. I always laugh.
“I’m fine. Nothing really…I just…I don’t know.”
But I do know and I have known for a few months now. I mentioned it here. I’m depressed. After bucking saying the words out loud I finally opened my mouth and let the words live outside my lips. I have been reluctant to say to anyone with any real seriousness that I AM DEPRESSED. It’s has been hard for me to face even though we have come a long way with dealing with issues of depression. And although I have counseled my share of friends who were dealing with it themselves it has been a struggle to admit my own dark days. Turning myself into someone else’s cheerleader is easy for me however being a cheerleader for myself at this time in my life has been hard.
I feel incredibly vulnerable exposing my sadness out loud to my family and friends. I shouldn’t because I know I have a wonderful support system. I know I am loved and respected by them but I can’t break that façade of togetherness. I want to be there for others but have a hard time letting others be there for me. I can’t let go of the feeling of being broken but I know that I am. I feel misplaced in the world. I feel like I am walking on icy grounds and the faster I get up the faster I slip back down, hard. I feel like I am going through motions but not making any real connections. I feel like a fraud.
“You are your worst critic.” She said.
It is true. I try not to judge myself harshly. I try to focus on all the things I have accomplished and less on the things I haven’t. I constantly tell myself I have time to do anything I want to cross off my bucket list but since I turned forty-eight all I can hear is fifty ringing in my ears like it’s the beginning of my expiration clock.
Logically I know where all of this is coming from. Women my age go through this. Logically I know that between the ages of 40 and 50 women and men go through this spiral of discontent. I’m experiencing all he classic causes and symptoms:
• Career changes
• Empty nest
• Premenopausal (?)
• Withdrawing from social activities
• Changing appetites
• Having little or no desire to do much
• Feeling insecure aging-body and looks
Knowing these things only makes it somewhat easier, but not much, because I try to tackle them everyday.
My days are not completely dark with gloom but mentally not feeling up to anything or unsure of myself is gloom enough.
My friend and I decided to do a weekly check-in every Wednesday evening. During the days before we meet we have to do something for ourselves that gets us out of the shadow of despondency.
I go to the doctor next week for my yearly physical and although I do not want medication at this point because I feel a lot of what I am reacting to is external I will discuss with her my feelings. I’m not shy about having sought out therapy before and I am considering doing so now just to get over this hump. It has been five months now, too long not to be happy.
I will continue to speak about this here and I would really love to connect with other women who are feeling the same. Having my friend to reach out to last night took some of the angst away and enabled me to even write this.
Here is an informative piece from the Huffington Post regarding Black women and Depression.
I firmly believe that KNOWING and FACING your problem is half the battle won. Stay strong.