Have you ever been so lost? Known the way and still so lost? -Katy Perry
This will be one of the hardest topics I’ve written about but trust it needs to be done. With the sudden and shocking death of the beloved Robin Williams, it’s only right we discuss the topics of depression and suicide. DON’T YOU DARE CLICK OFF. Some people really need to read this. The judgements, the misunderstandings just everything really needs to stop because I bet most never stepped foot in a person’s shoes who battled depression or suicidal thoughts. Right, because you never been someone like…Me. If you haven’t been following this blog for long or if this is your first time reading then welcome. I brushed along the surface in previous blogs a bit stating it was due to an absent father, my weight and also my life long battle with epilepsy. While that’s something I like to keep behind me, I see and hear a lot of people saying they can’t take this epilepsy, they hate the illness, they’re sad and angry, they are depressed. I CANNOT sit here and watch it and not say anything. So here’s my story, I hope you guys realize you can overcome it and make the best of your lives.
All this week you saw people saying what did Robin Williams have to be depressed about? He was rich. Open you minds. That clearly goes to show you, money can’t buy you happiness. I didn’t grow up with millions of dollars. We were not poor but we were not rich either. My mom was a single mother working for the State of La. Raising a child with a serious medical condition on her own while making sure everything was taken care of. Yet, I never wanted for anything. I always got everything I wanted and then some. Yes I was a spoiled brat. But I was still just not happy. Something inside of me kept me at war with myself. I would always stay to myself and we would just chalk it up to “the only child syndrome” or “it’s her seizure medication” but it was something more. I did not know what to make of the seizures as a kid, just knew I was not like the other kids. As I grew older I would say I grew sadder. I was involved in plenty of extracurricular activities. I still have all of the trophies to show for it. Dance school, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, modeling and acting school. I’ve done it all but still I cried myself to sleep at night. See to outsiders Whitney had it all, she got things a lot of kids didn’t but I still had a sadness within. At that point in my life my epilepsy was dormant. I didn’t have any grand mal seizures for a few years and was taken off of medication. That was a win in that category at least.
My father being absent played a huge part in my depression. So many missed birthdays, holidays and school events. I can’t tell you the number of times I cried myself SICK from this growing up. I broke down to my cousins numerous times wondering what did I do so wrong that he never wanted to be apart of my life. I was actually a good kid, just sick. My depression got so bad I would inflict harm on myself (If you are doing this..STOP IT). I didn’t tell anyone until I actually scared myself. I couldn’t go on with this alone. I had to speak up. It was time I let someone know. I remember that day like it was yesterday. From then I started seeing a psychologist. Yes I was just that lost. I was on antidepressants for awhile which the doctors were hesitant of because of my seizure disorder. Through all of this I was still hanging out with friends, laughing and joking as if nothing was wrong.
See you never know what the person next to you is going through behind closed doors. People are so quick to judge and say well people are just selfish. Maybe their family and friends pushed them away so much that they really were alone. Maybe they really DIDN’T have anyone to turn to. Maybe they tried to get help and was deemed crazy and told to get over it. Maybe they are so used to being there for everybody else that people forget that they will need someone to be there for them also. You just don’t know everybody’s story. Do you know how many people use the excuse “I’m too busy” just to avoid someone? You could be a matter of life or death for some. They could be at a pivotal moment. This is something that should not be taken lightly or joked about. Depression has no age, race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, economic value. It can affect anyone.
To my epilepsy community don’t let anything stop you. With the return of my seizures in 2013, I felt the depression weighing in on me again but I knew I could not go back down that path. I achieved too much in life and overcame too many obstacles to go back down that road. God pulled me through once and I turned to Him to do it again. I often think what would have happened if I did not speak up but I am so thankful that I did. Yes it is hard not knowing when your next seizure will strike. It’s frustrating having that “invisible illness”. Just know there is always someone there that is willing to listen.
I believe I went through all of that to be here for all of you. I can relate and be a living witness that there is hope. We are in this fight together. You should all have at least one person you can talk to about ANYTHING. They should not be quick to judge, be a light during your darkest time and have a genuine, understanding heart, no matter if you are upset with them or not. There are hotlines you can call if you just need to spill your guts to someone if that is something you are interested in. But always know, you never EVER have to stay silent and keep your feelings bottled up. There is always someone out there who understands. Ironic I am that person for soooo many. I’m always the one laughing and joking, making everyone else feel better. The support system, the strength for everyone. The one motivating and inspiring others to keep going. If you need a good laugh hit me up. Never a dull moment I promise. Then there’s always good old Robin Williams, he managed to leave us with tons of laughter to help us through the not so good days 🙂
I shared this with you today to show I am not perfect, no one is. We all have been through some things but it’s the choice of not being defeated. I have come a long way emotionally but you have to go through the storm to find the rainbow and sunshine on the other end. Go out and find your happiness. (Yep I wrote a blog on that too).