I just started reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown. A part in the book really resonated with me:
“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggle and the struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us.” P.9
When I read this I thought, oh yes, I need this reminder. I wrote it down in my journal right away because I thought it was so important. It is very easy for me to show empathy and compassion to other people. When people tell me about a problem they are having, I feel that I am fairly good at “counseling” them through it. Or just listening if they really just need to vent. I love helping people, but asking for help is much harder for me.
I have felt that my “hurt” isn’t big enough to matter. Or that I shouldn’t be hurting because I have a good life. Of course, I am thankful for the life I have been blessed with. I always have something to be thankful for, but I also have a chemical imbalance in my brain. I have Depression, Anxiety, and OCD. This can be a struggle sometimes. I think I probably started struggling with Depression from a young age, but I felt it was wrong. I would think, why am I sad? So many people have worse lives than I do. I thought I should be thankful for the life I had. I was thankful, but I was also depressed. It is possible to have a mood disorder without going through any trauma. It is okay to be depressed when other people have it worse than you. Don’t feel like you shouldn’t get help for your depression because you have a good life. Also, you could possibly have a different mood disorder so talking to a professional can be very helpful. I wish I had started talking to a therapist much sooner in my life.
I have felt fairly good mentally this year. I seem to be on the right kind and dose of medication; and I’m able to have regular appointments with my therapist. Of course, it is still hard. I have struggled with parenting this year. I have wondered if my son was ever going to potty train. By the way, I think he finally did! I have felt burnt out having to stay home and play with M.J. most of the day. I have felt guilty when I don’t feel like playing with him. I think many parents are feeling these things right now, even if they don’t struggle with Depression. But, it has been so helpful to continue to have regular appointments with my therapist. She will remind me I’m a good mom and that most moms feel like they have no idea what they’re doing. It has also been helpful to have such a wonderful husband. He is also a great daddy. He is so loving to M.J. It is so cute to hear them play together or to see them snuggle and watch movies together. He listens when I need to talk and he is always there for me.
If I hadn’t acknowledged the fact that I was hurting I would probably still be in a lot of pain right now. I have learned it is important to be honest about our struggles. Of course, you might need to be picky about who you tell. If there are people who often say, “Depression and Anxiety aren’t real things.” I’m not going to share my struggles with them. They are very real. They can be very hard to live with, but there is help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No matter how “good” your life is, it is okay to ask for help. If you feel like you might be struggling with any mood disorder, please find a therapist. My therapist has helped me so much. Medication has also helped me. I don’t think everyone needs medication, but many people can benefit from it. Have compassion for yourself. It is possible to have a chemical imbalance in your brain when you are very blessed. Don’t think because you are so blessed that you shouldn’t be depressed. It is okay. It’s okay to ask for help. You don’t need to be miserable.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”- Matthew 11:28 NLT