My last share on Us Too had a quote about how important it is for people, especially women, to start having a conversation about mental illness. So I figured it was as good a time as any to open up about the difficulties that I was faced with last year.
I'm not sure, but I would assume that most people who knew me when I was younger would not have pegged me for someone who would struggle with depression and anxiety as an adult. Please share with me if you feel this to be an inaccurate statement. I would truly be curious to hear why. I think that I was pretty low maintenance, non drama, laid back, and content with my efforts, even though many of my close friends were super high achievers. Basically, life was not much of a struggle for me. Because I am somewhat of a realist, I figured that since mental illness ran in my family, I would possibly need to seek out professional help much later in life. Like when my kids no longer depended on me (ouch), and my parents inevitably needed to increase their dependence on me. But that is not where I was last year.
I can honestly say that Adam and I worked our butts off to try and stay one step ahead of Jordan's issues. I'm not going to lie and say that it was easy, but we floundered and scrambled our way through, eventually searching for techniques and professionals that could possibly help. For some reason (maybe because we were never truly shocked by her behaviors, since they seemed to gradually progress throughout her lifetime) I was generally, able to cope.
But then last year, when she was a sophomore in high school, our Kayla began to struggle.
Our roly-poly, energetic, smart, giggly, self-assured, happy, athletic, beautiful daughter, started to slowly spiral downward.
And eventually, so did I.
To avoid this post from going on forever, I will pause here.
For whatever reason, you have decided to go along for this ride, and I would like to thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart. Selfishly, I find writing this to be somewhat cathartic. But perhaps it can act as a general road map for others who may find themselves sinking into the hopeless sea of depression and anxiety. In the next couple of posts, I will continue with Kayla's story, and also try to portray my journey from being a scared, overwhelmed, angry, lonely, depressed, anxious mess, to the much healthier, more content person that I am today.
Part of my plan to help illustrate this is to copy, word for word, some excerpts from my journal from last year. I'll warn you, it contains some harsh, angry, emotional language. But it will be real, and raw, and honest. Just like life.