Friday, June 22, 2018

My Unwanted Companions

Darkness threatens to close in on me. I deny its existence because I can't let myself go there again. I desperately look to any light I can find. Tears come easily, often without a reason. People ask me what's wrong. How can I explain what's wrong when I don't have the answer myself?

Depression and anxiety have been constant companions in my life. They fade into the background for awhile, but never truly disappear. Living with them is a never ending battle. One I'm determined not to lose. With the recent suicides of well known public figures, depression is once again pushed into the spotlight, but for how long? Until another suicide makes the news?

Awareness of this issue needs to be an ongoing dialogue. It's more than just a sad moment. People suffering from depression can't "pull themselves out of it".  For years I felt like a failure because my depression and anxiety crept up no matter how long it lay dormant. It's taken me years to accept that this is a part of me. Its' the way that I'm wired. I'll always have episodes and I'll be okay. I've  survived each one and will in the future. So I'm not a failure......I'm a survivor.

I've never felt stronger that this is the time to tell my story. My writer's devotion this summer is to talk about my journey and the tools I've collected over the years that give me hope and means to overcome this disease that crosses over into all walks of life. No matter age, race, socio-economic status, or gender, it doesn't discriminate. I hope that my story will help anyone who feels alone in this struggle. You're not alone and there are people who will support you. Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. As you read my story this summer, you'll see that my mistake at the beginning of this journey was not speaking up. Stay strong.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

An American Student

Journal Entry One
"This is a lock down" echoed through the sound system today sending my heart into overdrive. My body couldn't help but to react to the words even though my teacher told us we would have the drill today.  Huddled in the dark corner of my classroom, my mind raced with thoughts of what if....  What if it was real this time?  What if a gunman shot through our locked door?  My teacher always places herself between us and the door. What if the gunman shot her? Would I be next?  Relief flooded me when the news of the drill was over and we could go back to our normal day. But what about next time? Will it be a drill or real?  
  I guess this must be normal...right? To worry about these things when I go to school every day? 

                                                              An American Student

"American 15-19 olds are 8200% more likely to die from gun violence than children in any other developed nations."  Dr. Jill Stein